Despite having a court order, the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh sought an over nine month’s extension to complete the remaining remediation in the apparel sector of Bangladesh.
As per the agreement, the tenure of Accord, a platform of European apparel buyers to improve safety standards in the apparel sector, was scheduled to end by June last year.
In the failure of Accord to complete by the deadline and its call to extend tenure, the government extends by six months to November 2018.
In addition, the High Court asked Accord to conclude its activities by November 30, last year based on a case filed by Chattogram-based Smart Jeans.
“Accord’s demand of extension is not logical as it has already completed over 94% safety remediation work”
Once again, the Accord failed to end the remediation within the time frame and making dilly-dally.
Following the deadlock situation, the government formed a committee to settle the issue.
While the court will give its directive as the court stayed its previous order and the next hearing is likely to held on February 18.
ON February 7, in a meeting, the Accord sought a 281-day extension to complete the safety remediation, a highly credible source at Labor and Employment Ministry confirmed the Textile Today.
Earlier, Bangladesh government formed a committee headed by an additional secretary of the labor ministry, comprises representatives from the Department of Inspection for Factories and Establishments (DIFE), Remediation Coordination Cell (RCC), the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), and the Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) and Accord.
Another high official at the ministry opined that the Accord’s demand of extension is not logical as it has already completed over 94% safety remediation work.
It can get two to three months for transferring the remediation works to Remediation Coordination Cell to monitor, he added.
However, the issue Will be settled down by the court, he added.
It does not make any sense, whatever the demands are as the court will decide how many days it will get or not as an extension to end its activities here, he added.
On top of that, the apparel manufacturers’ platform BGMEA think that the Accord can complete it much before the sought extension.
Government formed committee is working on the issue and the court will finally give a decision. But I think the accord can complete the remediation within maximum six months, BGMEA president MD Siddiqur Rahman said.
As of now, most of the factory under Accord inspection are very close to ending the remediation, while the overall remediation process is almost done, said Rahman.
As per the latest data of the Accord, 89% initial remediation has been completed, while 197 factories completed the initial remediation and over 90% remediation at 996 factories are done.
After the collapse of Rana Plaza in 2013, Accord, an initiative of European RMG retailers, started to work in Bangladesh apparel industry to improve safety standards with a five years’ time frame.
The Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety, another platform of American buyers for safety standards improvement has completed the remediation and handed over the task to Remediation Coordinator Cell to looking at the end of December last year.