Bangladesh: Latest apparel and textile news & analysis
More than 200 companies have now signed the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh following the collapse of the Rana Plaza factory building in Dhaka, which killed more than 1,100 people in 2013.
Are Bangladesh’s garment factory owners about to destroy their extraordinary apparel success story? On the face of it, the question sounds absurd, writes Mike Flanagan. But neither the BGMEA nor the Bangladesh government have shown any real interest in developing a compliant garment industry.
Compliance in the global garment industry is fundamentally flawed, and has been from the beginning, according to industry expert David Birnbaum. In order to bring about change, he suggests, the industry must face up to these flaws, and work towards a single standard of compliance.
Both the Alliance and Accord have long expressed their concerns at the Bangladesh government’s lack of engagement in the process of making garment factories safer and empowering workers. But recent comments from the country's finance minister appear to be pushing their frustrations to the fore.
Two years after the Accord for Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh was set up, the group says it could still take at least another 18 months before corrective action plans are completed for all factories.
A sit-in protest by more than 1,000 workers at the Swan Garment and Swan Jeans factories in Bangladesh has entered its second week, as they seek payment of several months’ wages and bonuses following the “sudden and illegal closure” of the factories in April.
The Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety has appointed Vidiya Amrit Khan, director of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) to its board of advisors.
The head of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), has resigned from the board of the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety amid growing tension between the two groups.
More than 500 women garment workers in Bangladesh have been trained over the last six months in organising skills and their labour rights through a Trades Union Congress (TUC) Aid programme with the National Garment Workers Federation (NGWF).
The Better Work programme in Bangladesh is gathering momentum, with 75 factories representing almost 150,000 workers joining the initiative since November last year.
The Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh has agreed a deal with the International Finance Corporation to provide $50m of loans for garment factory safety improvements.
Labour rights groups are urging an overhaul of the approach to inspection reports on factory safety and working conditions, arguing that industry certificates are “more for show than safety.”
The Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety has brokered what it says is a first-of-its-kind agreement with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) to help the country's garment suppliers finance factory repairs.
Bangladesh apparel exports increased in its last fiscal year, but missed the country's target, new figures have revealed.
One of the groups working to improve building and worker safety in the Bangladesh ready-made garment industry has said it is "concerned" with delays in remediation at many of the factories that it has inspected.
The explosive growth of the Bangladeshi ready-made garment industry is more likely to be accompanied by accusations of sweatshop exploitation from labour rights activists than praise for the positive opportunities it brings the sector's largely-women workforce.
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