BANGLADESH: EU calls for better factory health and safety
The European Parliament has asked Bangladeshi authorities to put in place health and safety measures to prevent a recurrence of the clothing factory fire last year that saw more than 111 people lose their lives.
The call comes after a resolution was adopted by Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) last week. It will now be sent to authorities including the Bangladesh government and EU Member States.
The European Parliament also urged the governments of Bangladesh and Pakistan to ensure all manufacturers comply with health and safety legislation (notably the Labour Act (2006) in Bangladesh) and to establish an effective and independent system of labour and building inspections. At least 289 people also died at a garment factory in Karachi in the last year.
It also wants the governments of the two countries to lift restrictions on trade union activities and collective bargaining.
The MEPs also urged all stakeholders to work to combat corruption in the supply chain in many South Asian nations, including collusion between safety inspectors and factory owners.
And they want major international garment brands to critically investigate their supply chains and to cooperate with their subcontractors to improve occupational health and safety.
Currently, Europe is largest export destination of Bangladeshi goods, buying 60% of the country's apparel products.
During the debate on the resolution, major apparel brands and retailers were criticised.
Irish Socialist MEP Paul Murphy condemned the failure of European big business to keep to their own "moral but useless" code of conduct, and said responsibility for the deaths lies with both the owners of these factories as well as with European businesses who source there.
"Bangladesh is the world's second largest clothing exporter. Its clothing trade was worth $19bn in 2011 alone, with its factories producing for major brands like Tommy Hilfiger, Gap, Calvin Klein, H&M and Walmart," the MEP said.
Murphy also drew attention to denim jeans sandblasting, a common industry practice in Bangladesh that puts workers at risk of contracting silicosis and lung cancer due to the silica particles they inhale.
"The Bangladeshi government should ban all forms of sandblasting, but also implement a public programme to provide social and medical assistance for workers affected by silicosis," he added.
"The EU must implement an import ban on sandblasted jeans if it is serious about protecting the health of workers in the most exploitative industries."
Apparel giant PVH Corporation expects to see strong growth at Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein once teething problems with the integration of its Warnaco business are addressed, the group has revealed....
Lynn Shanahan has been appointed to the newly-created role of chief executive officer of Kellwood brands....
New York-based upscale footwear, handbag and accessories retailer Coach Inc has named Stuart Vevers as its new executive creative director....
The Warnaco and Tommy Hilfiger businesses drove a 59% surge in underlying first quarter profit at apparel giant PVH, with revenues up 36% on last year....
UK brand SuperGroup has appointed Hans Schmitt as its new managing director of international and wholesale as the company continues to focus its efforts abroad. ...
G-III Apparel Group increased its full-year earnings and revenue forecasts after returning to profitability in the company's first quarter....
- DENIM DAYS: Jeans innovation bursting at the seams
- How will TPP emerge from fast-track trade bill?
- Adidas pushing self-governance for suppliers
- Rana Plaza two years on: Challenges and concerns
- US fashion industry applauds trade bills package
- Under Armour hailed "next global athletic company"
- Myanmar garment workers strike deal
- Gap’s woes “not so easy to fix”
- Orta and Garmon launch denim chemical screening
- Authentic Brands acquires Jones New York