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Dhaka Tribune

ILO team due in Dhaka to talk workplace safety issues

Update : 29 Apr 2013, 02:05 PM

Bangladesh Employers Federation will form a task force to monitor the inspection of garment factories to prevent further tragedy.

A high-profile delegation of International Labour Organisation is also coming to Dhaka to discuss workplace safety and labour rights issues with the government and factory owners, BEF president Fazlul Haque informed the media yesterday.

“We have planned to form a task force having 5 to 7 members. It will sit with BGMEA and BKMEA leaders to prepare a guideline to prevent further accidents in garment sector,” he said at a press conference in Dhaka.

The task force will also have discussions with the ILO delegation, which is due to arrive in Dhaka tomorrow, he added.

“The task force will work out short and medium term plans. It will oversee whether injured workers and families of those who died in the Savar building collapse are getting compensation,” said Fazlul, a former president of knitwear sector association BKMEA.

He said the employers’ federation will also discuss the prospect of life insurance coverage for apparel workers with the state-run Jibon Bima Corporation.

“We have already started paperwork. The federation will discuss with the garment owners about providing injured workers with jobs,” secretary general of the federation Farooq Ahmed said.

UNB adds, a four-member high-profile delegation of the International Labor Organization (ILO), led by its Deputy Director General (DDG) for Field Operations and Partnerships, Gilbert Fossoun Houngbo, arrives here on Wednesday to discuss labour issues with the authorities concerned.

The delegation will visit Savar building collapse site and hold talks with the government officials and the owners of the factories during their four-day visit.

“It’s a very important visit and this is a very high-level delegation. What ILO says it’s an urgent visit following the Savar tragedy,” Fazlul Hoque said.

He said they received a message from the ILO Director General yesterday regarding the visit. The ILO delegation will hold a meeting with the owners of the factories and leaders of the BGMEA and BKMEA on Friday afternoon at the MCCI conference room.

Reading out part of the message, Farooq Ahmed said the delegation is coming to ‘discuss with the government of Bangladesh about how the ILO can assist the country in improving working conditions and occupational safety and health-related issues in the country to prevent occurrence of such incident in the future.’

Pubali Jute Mills Ltd Chairman and Managing Director Kamran T Rahman were also present at the press conference arranged in the backdrop of the Savar factory collapse that so far left 381 dead and sent hundreds to hospital with fatal injuries. 

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