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February 11, 2022

Agreement targets improved Bangladesh factory relations

A new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) aims to improve relations between management and factory workers in Bangladesh.

By Hannah Abdulla

A new agreement has been signed by the Bangladesh Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), German international cooperation enterprise (GIZ), and the Particip GmbH (Particip) to improve relations between factory management and workers in Bangladesh by strengthening factory committees.

The MoU aims to enable these committees to build and maintain healthy relations between factory workers and management representatives of each committee.

Under the agreement, the master trainers of BGMEA who were provided with a five-day ToT training, will train several factory committee members in the participating member factories to develop their capacities and function more effectively.

Faruque Hassan, president of the BGMEA said: “The RMG industry of Bangladesh has made unprecedented efforts and progress in workplace safety, particularly in fire, electrical and structural integrity over the past eight years. Over these years massive training and awareness-building initiatives were undertaken to create the culture of safety, which covered fire safety drills and other occupational safety and health issues, as well as social dialogue and industrial relations. I hope this initiative will strengthen the capacity of workers and management representatives to make different committees more functional.”

Dr Michael Klode, GIZ project coordinator Sustainability in the Textile and Leather Sector (STILE), who signed the agreement with Hassan and Manjur
Morshed, senior adviser, Particip GmbH, added GIZ’s objective is to facilitate experiencing the benefits of dialogue and communication between management, supervisors and workers on the factory floor.

“Therefore, we are happy to work with BGMEA to address a range of factory committees to ensure better communication about social and environmental standards, also gender issues that lead to more efficiency and higher productivity.”

Earlier this week, the BGMEA and International Labour Organization (ILO) announced a partnership to bolster garment worker safety in Bangladesh.

Under the deals inked with BGMEA, 700 Safety Committee members from 75 garment factories will be trained on occupational safety and health (OSH), hazard identification and risk assessment, building safety culture, management of fire accidents and Covid-19 guidelines.

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