After the tragic incident of Rana Plaza collapse on 24 April 2013, Accord and Alliance were formed for five years in order to inspect the work environment of garments factories in Bangladesh. Since then they have inspected over 2000 factories and detected various flaws. Accord’s activity in Bangladesh was supposed to be ended in May last year. But it got 281 days on condition through a court order, though it wanted to continue its activities till 2021.
In order to move away from Accord and Alliance; BGMEA has launched an initiative named RMG Sustainability Council (RSC) with a vision to a monitoring work environment in the export-oriented RMG factories in Bangladesh.
It would be a three-party initiative including factory owners, local and international labor organizations, foreign brands and buyers. Representatives of brand and retailers have also agreed to constitute RSC.
Rubana Huq, President of BGMEA, recently said,” We want to establish our own monitoring system. Under RSC, all decisions will be taken on the consensus of garment factory owners, labor organizations and brand representatives. Accord has already given their consent to this initiative and signed an MoU with BGMEA. As per the MoU, it will hand over its responsibilities to RSC before the end of 281 days.”
“During the working period of Accord, BGMEA will establish a unit in Dhaka and it will start monitoring from next month. Without the consent of the unit of BGMEA, Accord will not be able to sever business relations with any factory. After the passing of 281 days, all accessories of Accord will come under RSC. Factories outside BGMEA and BKMEA will be made visible under RSC. If a factory catches fire, it has a negative impact on the entire RMG sector,” Rubana Huq continued.
RSC is estimated to be constituted within the next three months. It has not been fixed yet that how much funds would be required to run RSC. Letters would be soon sent to brand and donor organizations for collecting funds.
Earlier, Remediation Coordination Cell (RCC) was established to manage the remediation process for RMG factories but it lacked the competence to take over the responsibility of Accord.
Experts are hoping that RSC would be a transparent and accountable organization which will be able to carry out its duties properly and would be acceptable at both home and abroad.