The labor ministry organized a workshop on ‘Capacity building of RCC: Sharing progress and the way forward’ at the Hotel Purbani on 17 July.
At the workshop, Mujibul Haque Chunnu, State Minister for Labor and Employment, said, “The government will not extend the tenure of Accord and Alliance as the Remediation Coordination Cell (RCC) is capable of running inspection and monitoring of workplace safety in garment factories.”
“I can challenge that the RCC is very much capable for monitoring the progress of the remediation of factory buildings,” he ensured.
The two foreign inspection agencies were formed after the Rana Plaza building collapse in 2013 for five years to improve workplace safety in the readymade garment (RMG) sector.
In May last year, the RCC was set up through the collaboration of the Bangladesh government, the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers, and Exporters Association, and the Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association, with technical support from International Labor Organization.
“The government has already recruited 130 inspectors to run the cell, which will work as the permanent body for the inspection of workplace safety. The Bangladesh Accord on Fire and Building Safety has already applied to the government seeking an extension of the tenure for the continuation of the remediation work,” he continued.
The government has extended the tenure of the Accord and the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety for six months so that they can take preparations for departure from the country. As per the decision, the buyer-driven groups will be able to run their operations in the country up to December 31 this year.
“So far, more than 90 percent remediation works of 2,559 factories affiliated with the Accord and the Alliance have been completed, adding that 755 factories have completed all kinds of remediation,” Haque said.
“I have already warned the factory owners of closure if they fail to make any visible progress by December 31 this year,” he continued.
Earlier at a seminar on the capability of RCC at the same venue, Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed said the cell would learn more to run the remediation and inspection.
“Foreign retailers and brands should pay more for the products they buy from Bangladesh as our local entrepreneurs have already strengthened the workplace safety by spending billions of US dollars,” he added.