The government is going to set a time-bound action plan for completing remediation work in the readymade garment factories which were inspected under the government-led and International Labour Organisation-supported initiative.
At a government-ILO workshop on RCC (remediation coordination cell) governance and future of industrial safety unit, the government adopted proposals to complete all the remediation work in the RMG factories inspected under the national initiative by June, 2021 and to extend the tenure of the RCC, which started working from July this year, to three years from one year.
‘At the workshop we have finalised a time-bound action plan for completing factory remediation, escalation protocol and RCC indicators,’ Md Shamsuzzaman Bhuiyan, inspector general of the Department of Inspection for Factories and Establishments, told New Age on Sunday.
The workshop was held at the Grand Sultan Tea Resort and Golf in Sylhet in August 29-30.
Representatives from labour ministry, DIFE, Fire Service and Civil Defence, Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association, Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association, Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha, Public Works Department, Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh and Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety attended the workshop.
In association with the ILO, the government formed remediation coordination cell to fix the safety faults in the factories inspected under the national initiative.
Shamsuzzaman said that the RCC was formed for only one year to fix safety faults in the factories but now the government was going to extent its timeframe to three years.
The issue of strengthening RCC was discussed at the workshop as the cell would have to take the remediation-monitoring responsibility of the RMG factories inspected under the EU buyers’ platform Accord and North American buyers’ platform Alliance by December this year, he said.
As per the proposal made at the workshop, the RCC would continue up to June, 2021 and after completing factory remediation within the timeframe the cell would evolve into an industrial safety unit, Shamsuzzaman said.
He said that as per the verdict of the High Court, Accord and Alliance would have to leave Bangladesh by November this year and the government would be responsible for the monitoring of Accord- and Alliance-listed factories after their departure.
Of the factories listed by the platforms, units in which remediation is completed would be transferred to the DIFE and the rest of the units would be referred to the RCC for the next course of action, Shamsuzzaman said.
He said that they had discussed about the escalation protocol and adopted proposal that if any unit failed to ensure workplace safety as per the direction of the RCC, the factory would have to face closure.
Before serving closure notice, the RCC would take five steps including awareness building, serving warning letter-1, warning letter-2, temporary suspension of business licence and not to issue utilisation declaration against the factory, Shamsuzzaman said.
Following the Rana Plaza building collapse in April, 2013 that killed more than 1,100 people, a total of 3,780 garment factories were assessed under the three initiatives — European retailers’ platform Accord, North American buyers’ platform Alliance and the government-led and ILO-supported national initiative.
Out of the 3,780 garment factories, 1,549 were inspected under the national initiative. Of them, 531 were closed, 69 relocated and 193 transferred to Accord and Alliance lists.
DIFE officials said the factories that fall under the national initiative completed 32 per cent of remediation works, while 11 factories fixed 100 per cent safety faults.