IndustriAll says it remains "determined" to make the industry safe and sustainable

IndustriAll says it remains "determined" to make the industry safe and sustainable

The IndustriAll global union has reiterated its call for more action from the Bangladeshi Government to create a safe and sustainable garment industry.

The union's general secretary, Jyrki Raina, said it remains "determined" to make the industry safe and sustainable, but added that there needs to be "more action from the government, with the rights to freedom of association upheld".

The call comes in the wake of a damning evaluation of the Sustainability Compact, drawn up following the Rana Plaza disaster. Through it, Bangladesh had committed to widespread reforms on protection of labour rights, fire and building safety and corporate responsibility.

Earlier this week, the country's US Ambassador warned that "significant work" remained, including the continuation of inspections, and the maintenance of an online public database of inspection results, which currently lacked vital information.

A joint evaluation of the Compact by IndustriAll, UNI Global Union and ITUC, found the government has "largely failed to implement the Compact, despite substantial financial and technical support from a number of foreign governments and the ILO," Raina said.

"The evaluation found that the inability of workers to organise and bargain collectively over the terms and conditions of work meant that gains in building and fire safety would not be sustainable, leading to further tragedies.

"Alarmingly, the attitude of the government towards unions seems to be only deteriorating," he added.

But despite the damning critique of the Sustainability Compact, IndustriAll admits there has been progress in Bangladesh since Rana Plaza, with more than 180 global clothing brands having signed the Bangladesh Accord. Inspections have taken place on more than half of the 1,600 factories supplying garments to Accord signatories, with inspections on target to be completed by October.