US: Delegation to discuss Bangladesh factory safety
A US government delegation visiting Bangladesh next week is set to lead a discussion on labour law reforms and safety standards in the garment sector in the aftermath of the Rana Plaza tragedy.
The factory complex, which collapsed last month with the loss of more than 1,100 lives, has put a focus on worker safety issues in the country's garment factories.
The US delegation, led by the State Department's Under Secretary for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman, will arrive in Dhaka on Sunday (26 May) for a three-day visit.
They are scheduled take part in the Second US-Bangladesh Partnership Dialogue and will meet with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
The Under Secretary "will also lead a roundtable with labour, industry, and government officials to discuss standards in the garment sector in the aftermath of the Rana Plaza tragedy," a statement said.
The Bangladesh government has already said it will begin inspections of factories, particularly in Dhaka and Chittagong, for compliance with fire and structural safety standards, and close a number of factories that have already been found to be unsafe.
Garment worker wages and rules on the formation of their own unions are also to be reviewed.
But apparel retailers and brands in the US and Canada are seeking assurances that the government is committed to reform in the long-term.
The companies, who have joined together under the banner of the North American Bangladesh Worker Safety Working Group, last week revealed first details of their Safer Factories Initiative.
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