Complete govt-ILO factory inspections unlikely by Apr 30

Staff Corresponded

The government-led and the International Labour Organisation-sponsored readymade garment factory inspection programme is unlikely to be completed by April 30 deadline due to non-cooperation of some factory owners and inconsistency in information including factory locations and contact numbers.
As per the announcement of the ILO, the inspection of the readymade garment factories under National Tripartite Plan of Action was supposed to end by April 30.
According to officials concerned, the ILO has so far inspected 850 garment factories with 500 units still remaining as inspection teams failed to reach the units due to incorrect contact details.
ILO officials on Wednesday held a meeting with the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association and sought intervention from the trade body so that factory owners give schedule for inspections.
In the meeting the ILO officials said that it would not be possible to complete the inspections within April 30 as their inspection teams failed to reach more than five hundred factories due to incorrect information and unwillingness of factory owners.
An official of the ILO on Saturday told New Age that the three initiatives — Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety, Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh and the government-ILO­ –– set targets to complete inspections in 3,508 export-oriented garment factories but the number was fluctuating.
Although the Alliance, the North American retailers group, and Accord, the platform of EU buyers, have completed its initial inspections, the ILO has been facing some problems like inconsistency in information including factory locations and contact numbers and non-cooperation of the owners, he said.
Under the circumstances, the ILO is now considering to set a deferred deadline on June 30 to complete the inspections, the officials said.
Recently, the ILO informed the government that they found incorrect contact information of 666 factories on the list provided by the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association and the Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association.
It also alleged that the authorities of at least 62 factories on the list were not cooperating in conducting safety inspections in the units.
A BGMEA official said following an intervention from the trade body out of 62, more than 20 factories have already conducted safety inspections in their units.
‘Now we are working on the list of the factories that provided incorrect contact information and we hope that most of the factories will come under the inspection within a short time,’ he said.
After the Rana Plaza building collapse that killed more than 1,100 people, mostly garment workers, in April 2013, the EU retailers formed Accord while the North American retailers formed Alliance and both the initiatives launched inspection programmes in the RMG factories from where their members procure products.
The government in association with the ILO announced a separate inspection programme for rest of the garment factories which were not on the lists of Alliance and Accord and were mainly engaged in subcontracting.
The Accord and Alliance completed their primary safety assessments in their listed factories over 1,900 in number.

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