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BGMEA urges Accord buyers not to close orders

images2Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) urged the Accord buyers not to withdraw orders from factories housed in shared buildings if they are found structurally okay.

It also called for setting a parameter to decide on a factory’s structural status.

According to the BGMEA, around 40% of factories are housed in shared buildings which employ 1.5m workers, mostly women.

The apex body of apparel sector made the call at a meeting with steering committee of the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh yesterday (8 April 2014).

Rob Wayss, executive director of Accord Bangladesh operation, Brad Loewen, chief safety inspector of Accord, Aleix Buquets Gonzalez of Inditex, Philip Chamberlin of C&A, Jnney Faggerlin of H&M, Lisa Fairclough of Debenham, Jenny Holdcraft of IndustriAll and Christy Hoffman of UNI-Global, among others, were present at the meeting.

BGMEA President Atiqul Islam presided over the meeting held at the association’s office in Dhaka, which was also attended by board of directors along with some former BGMEA presidents.

“There should be a parameter, on the basis of which, a factory would be directed to close or suspend production,??? said Shahidullah Azim, vice president of BGMEA.

He said if a factory lacks only 20% of standards, the situation is not so grave that it needs to be asked for suspension of production immediately.

“Off course, if the lacking is large in parameters, the factory should be marked as red.???

The association urged the Accord, a platform of Western brands, to keep trust on the manufactures.

According to the meeting sources, the garment owners wanted the Accord include apparel makers’ representative in the steering committee of Accord to reduce confusions and find easy solutions to problems arisen from ongoing inspections.

The garment manufacturers opposed making the inspection reports public as it “could damage their image.???

“Public disclosure of factory-specific inspection reports may cause damage to our business and reputation of the factories,??? said an owner who was present at the meeting.

“That’s why we urged the Accord not to make inspection reports public.???

On February 20, the Accord, a platform of 150 European retailers, launched the first phase of inspection and inspected over 275 factories for fire and electrical safety and over 200 factories were inspected for structural safety.

Among the inspected factories, tree buildings were identified as flawed while production of 10 factories suspended on structural faults.

On the other hand, the Alliance for Workers Safety in Bangladesh had inspected 305 factories and found no faults.

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Source: Dhaka Tribune

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