Govt urged to ensure factory safety

A delegation of European parliamentarians has called upon the government to fulfil its commitment to ensure factory safety and workers rights before the first anniversary of the worst-ever building collapse that killed more than 1100 people.

garments

“Time matters,” they said in a statement released on Wednesday after their departure.

“It is crucial that these measures be effective by 24 April 2014, which will mark the first anniversary of the catastrophe,” read the statement.

They also called upon the European buyers and Bangladeshi owners to “continue to fulfil their commitments” under the EU-Bangladesh Global Sustainability Compact rolled out after the Rana Plaza disaster.

The horrifying accident last year evoked worldwide concern over labour safety and working conditions in Bangladesh’s ready-made garment factories.

The delegation held “extensive discussions” with Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed and other stakeholders in the sector, which employs over four million workers. Garment exports to the EU market have increased by 57 percent over the past three years.

They made the statement after assessing the progress made to improve factory safety and workers’ rights, notably with the reform of the Labour Law and the commitment to hire 200 new safety inspectors.

They particularly called upon the government to implement rules for the Labour Law; deploy the inspectors; ensure publication of their reports; increase the minimum wage; and provide compensation and ensure rehabilitation of all the Rana Plaza victims.

“When the European consumers purchase clothes, they want to be sure that these have been produced by people who are safe at work and earn a decent living,” Jean Lambert who led the cross-party delegation was quoted as saying in the statement.

John Attard-Montalto, Salvador Sedo i Alabart and Niccolò Rinaldi were the other delegation members.

The MPs said: “…European buyers and Bangladeshi owners should continue to fulfil their commitments under the EU-Bangladesh Global Sustainability Compact”.

Source: bdnews24

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