The government on Thursday urged European Union to ensure ethical prices of Bangladesh’s readymade garment products so that factory owners can provide better wages to the workers.
Bangladesh’s factory owners have invested millions of dollars toward making the production units safer as per the recommendations of global buyers but the brands and buyers were not willing to increase the prices of products, state minister for labour Md Mujibul Haque said in a meeting with EU ambassador Rensje Teerink held at Bangladesh Secretariat on the day.
‘Bangladeshi manufacturers have been forced to comply with the standard of safety and labour rights imposed by the global buyers. They always push for increasing workers wages in Bangladesh but when manufacturers demand fair prices they avoid it showing excuse of “competitive” market,’ Mujibul told New Age following the meeting.
‘In the meeting, I requested EU ambassador to take initiative to ensure ethical prices of products so that garment factory owners can provide better wages to their workers as the government has already formed wage board to review the wages of the RMG sector workers,’ the junior minister said.
He said that the labour ministry has informed EU ambassador about the progress of ongoing workplace safety, trade union registration, preparation of remediation coordination cell and implementation of labour laws.
‘We informed EU that Bangladesh is fully prepared to take over the responsibility of post remediation safety inspection in RMG sector from the global buyers platform Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh,’ Mujibul said.
According to sources at the meeting, the EU ambassador emphasised on the implementation of Sustainability Compact that was adopted following the Rana Plaza building collapse in 2013.
Acting labour secretary Afroza Khan, inspector general of the Department of Inspection for Factories and Establishment Md Shamsuzzaman Bhuiyan, additional secretary Khondaker Mostan Hossain and joint secretary Aminul Islam were present at the meeting.
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