Bangladesh commerce minister Tofail Ahmed on Thursday said the government had extended the time frame of two separate global retailer platforms — Accord and Alliance — for six more months and there was no possibility of further extension of the platforms after December 31 this year.
‘Bangladesh is a sovereign country. There is no such monitoring body like Accord and Alliance in any other countries in the world. Bangladesh will not require any Accord and Alliance after December 31 this year,’ the commerce minister said following a meeting with country’s readymade garment sector leaders on labour situation ahear of Eid-ul-Fitr held at Bangladesh Secretariat.
He said the government formed Remediation Coordination Cell and the cell would take the factory safety responsibility from the Accord and Alliance.
Following the Rana Plaza building collapse in April 2013 that killed more than 1,100 people, European retailer formed Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh and North American buyers’ announced Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety undertaking a five-year plan, which set timeframes and accountability for inspections and training and workers empowerment programmes.
The government extended Accord’s tenure for six more months in the second week of this month as the timeframe of the platform is going to end on May 31.
This week, the government has also extended the timeframe of Alliance for six more months and the five year tenure of the platform would end on June 30.
In the meeting Tofail instructed the employers to pay wages and festival allowances to the works in time so that no untoward situation takes place in the sector.
He also urged the garment factory owners not to terminate any worker from his job before Eid to keep the labour situation stable in the sector.
Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin, president of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industries, said all the workers would get their wages and allowances before Eid and factory owners would not leave their office until making the payment to their workers.
He, however, alleged that a quarter involved with foreign agencies is trying to ruin the growth of readymade garment industry.
Md Siddiqur Rahman, president of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association, said that workers would be paid in due time before Eid.
Some minor problems might be arisen in some small factories and the BGMEA is working with the factories closely so that no problems take place ahead of Eid, he said.
Mansoor Ahmed, vice-president of Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association, said that they received a list of 45 problematic factories from Industrial police and working on the units to ensure workers payment before Eid.
He said that the BKMEA instructed all its member factories to make payment to the workers by June 14.