POST TIME: 7 March, 2016 12:47:03 AM
/ LAST MODIFIED: 7 March, 2016 02:32:48 PM
‘RMG sector to be a global role model’
US Ambassador to Bangladesh Marcia Stephens Bloom Bernicat speaks at a Stakeholders’ Forum of a two-day workshop on “Stakeholders and Buyers Forum Better Work Bangladesh” in a hotel in the capital yesterday. INDEPENDENT PHOTO
State Minister for Labour and Employment Ministry M Mujibul Haque yesterday said the Ready-Made Garments (RMG) sector will be established as a role model to the world as the government has been providing remarkable facilities to further accelerate the industry.
“Bangladesh government has incorporated Labour Law-2015 for the first time side by side taking national professional health and safety policy,” he said while addressing as the chief guest at the inaugural session of a two-day workshop on “Stakeholders and Buyers Forum Better Work Bangladesh” in a hotel in the capital.
Terming the labour law a laudable one; the state minister said the RMG sector has been enjoying a peaceful environment for the last two years as the government has properly implemented the law.
“The Bangladesh readymade garment sector is the driving force of the nation’s economy. We welcome Better Work’s approach of seeking to boost industry competitiveness while at the same time improving the lives of workers,” the state minister said.
Better Work commenced its operations in Bangladesh in 2014, becoming fully operational in 2015. It currently works with 96 factories which employ over 183,000 workers with a plan to expand to 200 factories by the end of 2016 and to continue to recruit additional factories in subsequent years. In all, 18 international buyer partners are currently sourcing from Better Work Bangladesh factories.
Speaking at the event Srinivas Reddy, ILO Country Director said, “In just a short time Better Work Bangladesh has gained excellent support from government, workers and employers alike. It is now working closely with almost 100 factories and we look forward to deepening and widening this engagement in years to come.” Meanwhile Wendy Jo Werner, IFC Country Director said, “Through Better Work we seek to improve working conditions and competiveness in the Bangladesh readymade garment sector. This will contribute to greater resilience to global economic trends as well as increasing demands from buyers and customers.”
Examples of Better Work activities in Bangladesh include assessments and advisory visits conducted to develop compliance improvement plans.
Training is taking place on supervisory skills, financial literacy, industrial relations and workplace cooperation. Support has been provided to help build capacity of government labour inspectors. In addition, draft guidelines have also been developed for forming Safety Committees in coordination with the Accord and Alliance.
The Better Work programme is a partnership between the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) that currently operates in eight countries. The objective of Better Work is to improve working conditions and promote competitiveness in the global garment industry. It does so by promoting compliance with international labour standards and national law in global supply chains as a basis for building socially responsible export strategies, and by enhancing enterprise-level economic and social performance.
Canada, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom currently fund the Better Work programme in Bangladesh while the US Department of Labour and Switzerland support the programme in Bangladesh as well as globally.