RMG owners sceptical on Accord
Aug 30, 2021
Published at 07:44 pm August 30th, 2021
According to the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) data, export earnings from the sector soared by 6.24% year-on-year to $26 billion in July–April of the current fiscal yearMahmud Hossain opu/Dhaka Tribune
According to most unions and its supportive organizations, the signing of the new Accord will ensure the health and safety of workers
Apparel manufacturers expressed their hesitation about the recent developments in signing of a new and improved Accord International. Factory owners were also unconvinced about how the new Accord will work. According to a recent press statement of the Accord Foundation, the new agreement named the "International Accord for Health and Safety in the Textile and Garment Industry" will be officially signed between the brands and international labor organizations on Wednesday. In a recent meeting, the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) expressed their hesitation, confusions and anxiety about the new Accord. In a statement, Faruque Hassan, president of the BGMEA, said that the recent press release by the Accord Foundation may have been confusing for many and might give the impression of a poor partnership. “It may be seen to be undermining an independent organization; one that is not controlled or subservient to the parties of the above captioned agreement,” he added. He also stated that the claim that the International Accord agreement is being implemented in Bangladesh by the independent national tri-partite RMG Sustainability Council (RSC) is misleading. The RSC was formed as an independent non-profit company, licensed by the government to take over the Bangladesh operations of the Accord and has taken over the monitoring regime as of June 1, 2020 bringing the Bangladesh RMG safety monitoring regimes under one umbrella, he added. It remains the objective of the RMG Industry to foster an environment which promotes a common safety platform and code of conduct. “The duty of compliance must be ensured for our continued safety and our well-earned pride in the stature of our industry. The industry has zero tolerance for backsliding on matters related to safety. The RSC is working to overcome all issues,” stated the BGMEA president. The RSC consists of all stakeholders having equal representations and is an independent platform, where the protocols of the former Accord 2013 had been adopted, he added. The Board of the RSC is only accountable to its stakeholders and works through a unique consensual decision-making process, whereby no two groups may influence operations. “We also remain accountable to the government of Bangladesh, being licensed to monitor the RMG sectors safety compliance and complaint mechanism,” he added. The ILO and the EU, being key development partners to Bangladesh, have lent their endorsement to the RSC from its very inception. “It should be clear to all constituents and stakeholders that there is no licensed entity, apart from the RSC working in this sector,” said Faruque Hassan. “The former Stitching Bangladesh Accord Foundation, and the proposed International Accord for Health & Safety in the Textile and Garment Industry Foundation, are separate entities to the RSC and will not have any function in Bangladesh, directly or indirectly, unless expressly permitted by the government of Bangladesh,” he added.