SAFETY INSPECTION

Minister fears labour unrest over RMG factory closure

Staff Corresponden
State minister for labour and employment Md Mujibul Haque, second from right, and Dutch minister for foreign trade and development cooperation Lilianne Ploumen, second from left, attend a workshop on ‘Managing Occupational Safety and Health at Workplace’ held at Ruposhi Bangla Hotel in Dhaka. — Focusbangla photo

State minister for labour and employment Md Mujibul Haque, second from right, and Dutch minister for foreign trade and development cooperation Lilianne Ploumen, second from left, attend a workshop on ‘Managing Occupational Safety and Health at Workplace’ held at Ruposhi Bangla Hotel in Dhaka. — Focusbangla photo

State minister for labour and employment Md Mujibul Haque on Monday feared labour unrest ahead of Ramadan as the factory inspection by global retailer groups were leading to shut down of garment units leaving thousands of workers jobless.
Mujibul expressed his dissatisfaction over the Accord and Alliance, the retailers’ platforms of European Union and North America, for shutting garment factories and said, ‘We also do not want to see the repetition of Tazreen Fashions fire and Rana Plaza building collapse but it is unfortunate that factories have been closed in the name of safety inspection.’
The state minister was addressing the inaugural session of a workshop on ‘Managing Occupational Safety and Health at Workplace’ held at Ruposhi Bangla Hotel in Dhaka.
The programme was organised by the labour ministry and International Labour Organisation aimed at reducing risk of accidents and preventing accidents at workplaces.
Raising question about experience and quality of the Accord’s engineers, who are conducting factory inspection on fire, electrical safety and structural integrity, the state minister said the government wanted to ensure safety for each worker.
Mujibul urged the buyers and brands to place more orders and increase prices of the products so that the sector people could relocate factories to make them compliant.
He also said that creating awareness on occupational safety and health was a pro-active step by the government to spread awareness and vigilance at the factory level to ensure safety and reduce risk of fatal and costly accidents.
Over 60 participants from the government, trade unions, garments manufacturers and buyers attended the planning session on OSH intervention.
Dutch minister for foreign trade and development cooperation Lilianne Ploumen said well-functioning Occupational Safety and Health committees in factories were essential for the safety and health protection of workers.
‘The Netherlands, Canada and the United Kingdom are committed to the establishment and capacity building of the occupational safety and health committees in the garment industry through our joint support of the ILO RMG Programme,’ she said.
This workshop is an important initiative towards ensuring safe workplaces and preventing accidents in garment industry in fulfilment of the commitments agreed by the government, employers and workers in the National Tripartite Action Plan, ILO country director Srinivas B Reddy said.
Labour secretary Mikail Shipar and Dutch ambassador Gerben Sjoerd de Jong, among others, attended the programme.

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