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Global buyers not raising prices despite cost increases : BGMEA

images22Leaders of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) Saturday (19 April 2014) alleged that global buyers and brands are not raising products’ prices in line with wage hike and other initiatives taken to improve workplace safety and other compliance issues.

“It is unfortunate that though we have taken different initiatives to improve workplace safety and labour standards, buyers are not offering increased prices of apparel products,” Md Atiqul Islam, president of the BGMEA said at a press conference held at the association’s headquarters in the city.

The BGMEA president said global buyers put pressure to increase wages but now they don’t increase prices of the products.  Rather they are canceling orders from the factories located at shared or rented buildings.

The BGMEA organised the press briefing to announce different steps taken so far to commemorate the first anniversary of the country’s worst ever industrial tragedy-Rana Plaza building collapse-that killed at least 1,135 people, mostly garment workers.

The BGMEA office bearers, BKEMA first vice president Md Hatem and Labour Secretary Mikail Shipar, among others, were present during the briefing.

During the last one year, 150 trade unions are registered while the number was only 38 in eight years, the BGMEA president said adding buyers are not taking the ongoing developments and initiatives into consideration.

He also requested the global brands and buyers for creating a fund for the Rana Plaza victims and their families instead of making only verbal assurances.

Citing the ILO $40 million trust fund for compensation of the Rana Plaza victims and their families, he called for speedy disbursement of the fund among them.

Terming the buyers’ pulling out of orders from the shared buildings as ‘inhuman’, he said about 40 per cent factories are located at shared or rented buildings employing about 1.5 million workers.

“I request the buyers to consider the issue and not to withdraw orders from those factories,” he said. The apparel makers also don’t want any recurrence of Rana Plaza tragedy and so they are working to improve the situation, he pointed out.

The three initiatives-the Accord, the Alliance and the government and ILO-led factory assessment-so far inspected 700 factories while only 13 located in four buildings suspended production due to structural faults, he said. “It shows that all the shared buildings are not unsafe.”

Member factories of the BGMEA, the Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) and the Bangladesh Textile Mills Association jointly will offer prayer for the Rana Plaza dead workers at 12.01 pm on April 24.

The day- long programme also includes rally, doa mahfil and meeting with the Rana Plaza victims and their families.

The BGMEA requested other related industries including banks, insurance, freight forwarders, carton, polybag, accessories, yarn, textile, terry towel, washing, dying, truck and covered van to participate in the prayer programme staying in their respective places.

Source: Financial Express

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