The readymade garment industry of Bangladesh has made significant progress in the areas of sustainability, especially workers’ well-being and industrial relations, said Faruque Hassan, President, Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA).
“Starting from the elimination of Child Labour in mid-nineties, and the emerging compliances issues including timely payment of wages, ensuring the minimum wage, overtime, hygiene at the workplace, and so on, the industry has responded well on all the issues of compliance and workers’ rights”, he remarked while addressing a seminar on inclusive business as chief guest.
Dutch-Bangla Chamber of Commerce and Industries (DBCCI) organized the “Seminar on Wellbeing of RMG Workers through Inclusive Business Initiative” at a hotel yesterday.
The BGMEA President said since the tragic building collapse accident in 2013, a paradigm shift had taken place in the areas of structural, fire and electrical safety at the workplace which was supported by international brands and donors like ILO, in addition to the lead role played by our government.
Moreover, the Labour Law was amended twice in 2013 and in 2018, and Labor Rules was promulgated in 2015 to ensure workers’ well-being and safety at the workplace. The formation of a safety committee in every factory has been made mandatory, workers participation committee has also been made mandatory through elections. A central fund has been created under the supervision of the government where garment factories are contributing $10 million of their export receipts to be used for the workers’ welfare purposes, he added.
Faruque Hassan said the industry earned global recognitions through these unprecedented strides over the years. A recent survey report by Hong Kong-based supply chain compliance solutions provider, QIMA, ranked Bangladesh’s garment industry second in “Ethical Manufacturing”.
Faiyaz Murshid Kazi, Director General, Ministry of Foreign Affairs attended the program as a guest of honor while Md. Anwar Shawkat Afser, President, DBCCI made the concluding remark. Shaikh Saif Al Rashid, CEO, Apon Wellbeing Ltd.; Tawhida Shiropa, Founder & CEO, Moner Bondhu; Mamunur Rahman, Founder, Ella Pad; Md. Jalalul Azim, CEO, Pragati Life Insurance Ltd; Syful Alam Mallick, Compliance Manager, South Asia, Auchan took part in the seminar as discussants.
Jamal Uddin, Inclusive Business Advisor, SNV made the keynote presentation at the seminar.