Accord warns 28 RMG factories of cutting business ties

May 19, 2015

Bangladesh Accord on Fire and Building Safety, a platform led by the European brands and retailers, has warned of cutting business relations with 28 factories for their failure to make satisfactory progress with the remediation work. In a recent report, the Accord said that they have sent a total of 224 follow-up inspection reports (fire, electrical and structural) to the factory, related company signatories and union signatories.
Out of 224 factories, Accord issued non-compliance letters for 28 where remedial works for ensuring safety were not satisfactory.
According to the Accord aggregate report, the engineers of the platform generated a detailed report and updated the Corrective Action Plans under the follow-up inspection and the detailed report was sent to the factory, related company signatories and union signatories.
‘In cases where the Accord engineers are not satisfied with the remediation work of the factory, the Lead Engineer issues a non-compliance letter to the factory, the company signatories and labour signatories,’ the Accord said.
If the factories do not take any action following the letters and the Accord does not see adequate progress, the signatory
companies and the factory will be required to invoke the provisions of the Accord related to non-compliance with required remediation.
‘Such provisions include termination of business relations and public disclosure of the noncompliance on the Accord website,’ the retailers group said.
Accord officials declined to disclose the names of the factories and said the platform is working with the companies closely and if the factories finally failed to make any progress then the names will be disclosed as disqualified.
Shahidullah Azim, vice-president of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and exporters Association, told New Age that the Accord did not send any list of the factories that have failed to make headway in remediation work to the Association.
‘Perhaps, the progress in some medium factories are slow due to fund crisis and Accord should start countdown factories for announcing them noncompliant after providing necessary funds,’ he said.
Earlier in March, the Accord announced a local apparel making company Mega Chois Knitwear Ltd disqualified for producing cloths for the Accord signatory due to noncompliance.
The retailers group had said in their disclosure that Accord engineers identified serious fire safety lapses in Mega Chois Knitwear Ltd located at Ashulia and asked the authorities to evacuate the building temporarily for necessary remedial works, but the factory owner refused to comply.
Meanwhile, BGMEA President Atiqul Islam has recently sent a letter to the commerce ministry alleging that the Accord is creating problems for some factories with threats to declare them non-compliant and thereby destroy their export business.
Atiqul in his letter alleged that improving worker safety in the garment factories where the Accord signatory companies source apparel products is the job of the Accord but the platform has got engaged in some activities which are beyond the purview of worker safety.
The BGMEA president urged commerce minister Tofail Ahmed to look into the situation seriously and take appropriate measures to keep the Accord activities within the bounds of the law of the land.

-Input from New Age

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