Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh, a platform of European brands and buyers engaged in readymade garment sector in Bangladesh, has submitted to the government a plan involving six phases without setting any timeframe to wind up its operations from the country.
In the plan, the retailers’ platform proposed establishing an Accord liaison cell within the Remediation Coordination Cell to provide support for building capacity of the cell to take over the operations of the buyers’ platform, said people involved with the transition monitoring committee.
According to the sources, the Accord proposed providing technical training to the RCC engineers on data management, quality assurance and transparency in the first phase, while the platform would hand over its functions related to inspections and monitoring of remediation through handing over some factories, which are fully remediated but not doing business with any brand, in the second phase.
In the phases 3 and 4, the Accord would hand over its safety committee and safety training programme and safety and health complaints mechanism to the RCC.
It would gradually hand over all the factories’ responsibilities and its functions to the government body in fifth and sixth phases if the capacity of RCC is fully achieved, sources said.
A high government official said that they received a transition plan from the Accord and it would discuss it in the next meeting of TMC to be held on September 9.
‘The Accord submitted a six-phase transition plan to the government, without setting any timeframe. We also have a plan and it is time-bound. All the transition would have to complete by November 30 and as per the court verdict the Accord would have to wind up its activities by the time from Bangladesh,’ he said.
Following the Rana Plaza building collapse in April 24, 2013, that killed more than 1,100 people, mostly garment workers, EU retailers formed the Accord to improve workplace safety in Bangladesh.
According to the Accord’s statistics, the initiative has so far inspected more than 1,600 factories and completed over 89 per cent of remediation works in the units.
A total of 172 factories completed 100 per cent remediation while 171 units faced business termination due to their failure in fixing safety faults.
The tenure of the platform ended in May this year and the government allowed it a six-month transition period.
Global stakeholders including buyers, trade unions and investors have requested Bangladesh government to allow operation of Transition Accord until the ‘rigorous readiness’ of a national body to take over the factory safety responsibility.
They also urged the government to implement the decision of Transition Monitoring Committee arrangement adopted in a meeting with the representatives of Accord, global trade union federations, factory owners and International Labour Organisation in Dhaka on October 19, 2017.
As per the decision of the meeting, once the TMC considers the Remediation Coordination Cell to be ready based on the objective criteria agreed upon, the Accord will hand over its tasks to that national regulatory body.
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