Accord goes slow in handing over responsibility

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Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh, the platform of European retailers, has failed to keep its promise to start handing over RMG factory safety monitoring responsibility to the government body in time.
In a meeting of Transition Monitoring Committee held on October 10, Accord representative to the committee had promised that in the first phase the buyers’ platform would hand over post-remediation safety monitoring responsibility of 25 fully-remediated readymade garment factories to the Remediation Coordination Cell, a government-formed body.
‘But Accord is yet to hand over any factory to the RCC and the platform has not given us any further date for starting the handover process,’ Syed Ahmed, additional secretary of labour ministry told New Age on Sunday.
Accord informed that they were preparing a handover document and it would be sent to the government after the approval of the document by its steering committee, 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 Accord and North American retailers formed Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety undertaking a five-year plan which set timeframes and accountability for inspections and training and workers’ empowerment programmes.
Accord has so far inspected more than 1,600 RMG factories while Alliance has inspected more than 700 units.
Accord-listed factories completed more than 89 per cent of remediation works while 172 factories completed 100 per cent remediation.
The tenure of the platform ended in May this year and the government allowed it a six-month transition period that will be ended on November 30 this year.
‘We are waiting to take over the safety monitoring responsibility of readymade garment factories from Accord in phases but the buyers platform is dilly-dallying in handing over the factories to the RCC,’ said Aminur Rahman, project director of RCC.
He said that they received a handover document from Accord on Sunday in which the platform expressed their interest to hand over safety monitoring responsibility of 100 fully-remediated RMG factories without mentioning any time frame.
Even, Accord did not mention name of any factories in its handover document, Aminur said.
The project director of RCC hoped that the issue might be solved in the next meeting of TMC to be held on Tuesday (tomorrow).
One of the labour ministry officials, however, said that the TMC meeting scheduled for Tuesday may not be held as Accord representatives to the committee wanted the meeting to be held in the first week of November.

Source: New Age.

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