Global retailers and brands have increased their import of apparel products from the compliant factories in Bangladesh as the country’s RMG sector has become one of the safest places for workers in the world thanks to remediation work of Alliance, Accord and national action plan, said Sean Cady, vice-president of VF Corporation, a US-based large global apparel company, on Sunday.
‘Bangladesh’s RMG industry has transformed over last five years. It has become one of the safest places for the workers in the world,’ Cady, also a board member of Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety, said at a press conference.
The Alliance, a platform of North American buyers and retailers, organised the press conference on the transition of the platform at the Westin Hotel in Dhaka.
‘Our sourcing has increased significantly and the export of readymade garment from Bangladesh has increased but the number of factories is less, that means business is going to the better and safe factories because of the work of Alliance, Accord and national action plan,’ he said.
‘We are proud of Brand Bangladesh. Made in Bangladesh has a strong recognition in the world,’ Cady said.
‘It is critically important for international buyers to have confidence that the level made in Bangladesh is supportive for all workers,’ he said.
Cady said that Bangladesh’s RMG sector was strong, business was coming and more business was coming for equipped factories.
Jim Moriarty, executive director of the Alliance, said that the government of Bangladesh, global buyers and factory owners were jointly working for last five years for transformation of RMG sector and the sector had transformed into a safer place from a vulnerable one.
He said that the Alliance would not continue after its timeframe which would end in December this year, but they were negotiating with the government and factory owners to set up an independent body to monitor the post-remediation safety standard in the RMG factories.
Moriarty announced that the confidential worker helpline — Amader Kotha — established by the Alliance would turn this month into an independent initiative which would have the ability to expand its services
beyond the Alliance-listed factories.
He hoped that the initial corrective action plans would be completed in the Alliance-listed factories by the end of this year.
The Alliance wants to transfer its factory safety and worker empowerment initiatives to an independent safety monitoring organisation managed in partnership with credible, local partners after the completion of initial CAPs, Moriarty said.
Replying to a question, the Alliance executive director said that remediation in the factories under the national action plan was a challenge for the Remediation Coordination Cell.
If any big accident had taken place in the sector, it would happen in the factories under NAP not in the Accord- and Alliance-listed factories, he said.
Moriarty said that the main focus of the RCC would be the remediation of factories under the national initiative and the RCC was not at the stage of monitoring the safety standard in the Alliance-listed factories.
Following the Rana Plaza building collapse in April 24, 2013, that killed more than 1,100 people, mostly garment workers, North American buyers and retailers formed the Alliance undertaking a five-year plan, which set timeframes and accountability for inspections, trainings and worker empowerment programmes.
The initiative inspected more than 700 RMG factories from where the North American buyers procured products.
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