23 Ctg factories fail to carry out required remediation works

Alliance complains to BGMEA

Staff Correspondent

The North American retailers’ group has recently complained to the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association that 23 factories located in Chittagong have failed to carry out the required remediation works on time.
The Alliance has threatened to cut business relations with the factories, if they fail to make progress immediately.
The Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety, the buyers’ platform, said that the factories got time ranging from seven to 13 months for remediation but the owners did not pay heed to the repeated reminders of the platform.
On October 28, the Alliance handed over the list of 23 factories to the BGMEA saying that the progress of remediation works in the units were 4 per cent to 44 per cent and the structural safety in 11 factories were at severe risk.
‘We have received a list of 23 factories from the Alliance and assured the buyers’ platform that the BGMEA will work with the factories so that they carry out required remediation works in line with the provided corrective action plan,’ BGMEA vice-president Mahmud Hassan Khan Babu told New Age on Monday.
He said that the 23 factories including the 11, which structural safety is vulnerable, would get time for six months for achieving a certain progress and if the factory authorities can achieve the target, they will get more time for completion of remediation works.
If any factory fails to make required progress, the BGMEA will not take the responsibility of the unit, Babu said.
‘We also requested the Alliance to allow six more months for the factories where the progress of remediation is very poor,’ he said.
Alliance managing director M Rabin told New Age that the list of six factories out of 11, where found severe safety risk, had been sent to the government-set review panel for next course of action.
‘I think it will not be possible to run the six factories in the present buildings, though the factory owners are trying to run their operations there,’ he said.
Rabin said the Alliance had expressed its resentment to the BGMEA that despite getting seven to 13 months the factories did not fix the problems.
Some of the factories made progress in some areas but none of them addressed the high priority issues, he said.
‘If the factories do not make immediate response for fixing safety faults in line with the corrective action plan, there will be no other option but to cut business relations with them,’ Rabin said.
Earlier, the Alliance informed the BGMEA about the slow remediation works in 121 factories.
After the Rana Plaza building collapse, which killed more than 1,100 people, mostly garment workers, in April 2013, North American retailers, including Walmart and Gap, formed the Alliance undertaking a five-year plan, which set timeliness and accountability for inspections, and training and workers’ empowerment programmes.
The Alliance started inspections in the garment factories in February 2014 and completed primary safety assessment of its listed factories of more than 600 in number in July that year.

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