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Readymade Garments makes progress, still long way to go, says Canadian High Commissioner

Canadian High Commissioner Heather Cruden

Canadian High Commissioner Heather Cruden

Bangladesh has so far made a significant progress in improving overall working conditions in the ready-made garment sector, but still there are lot of things to do for further advancement.

Canadian High Commissioner Heather Cruden came up with the observation while talking to the reporters yesterday after attending a views-sharing meeting with her fellow colleagues from different countries stationed in Dhaka.

The meeting titled “Post Rana Plaza Initiatives and the Current Scenario of RMG sector??? was organised by the BGMEA at its office to update the ambassadors, the high commissioners and donor agencies about the progress so far made in the country’s RMG sector.

Ambassadors and high commissioner from 14 countries including the European Union and the US attended the views sharing meeting.

“Although a lot of things have been achieved over the years in RMG sector, it is fair to say that progress may not be happened quickly while the exceptions are unrealistic. However, it is important for all the parties that are engaged to continue and maintain the pressure and commitments with the ongoing momentum,??? said the Canadian envoy.

She said: “RMG sector in Bangladesh created a lot of employment and empowered its women but we cannot be complacent as we continue to move forward to progress further in some complicated areas like factory inspection, remediation, compensation, database, workers being paid, trade union, work place safety.???

Country Director of International Labour Organisation (ILO) Srinivas B Reddy said freedom of association in the RMG sector was getting shape as a total of 134 trade unions got registration in recent times.

During last fifteen month, a total of 134 trade unions got registered with the government, which is very much significant in terms of freedom of association in collective bargaining, said Reddy.

Commenting on the buyers’attitude to the Trust Fund contribution for the compensation of Rana Plaza victims, Reddy said, “It is unprecedented as they are not paying any heed to the demand of the rights bodies to raise the fund. Every worker will be paid Tk50,000 before the first anniversary of the factory disaster and we have already started receiving complaints  from the victims.

The Primark would provide US$9m to compensate 580 workers, who worked for New Weave garment housed at Rana Plaza, while it would donate $1m to the trust fund.

“We have briefed them about what we have done for improving RMG sector till today since the Rana Plaza collapse with a specific message that we want to build the RMG sector as a safe and secured industry,??? said BGMEA President Atiqul Islam.

He claimed that the percentage of trade union was increasing day by day as saying, “We are giving training to garment workers and the mid-level officers about their own rights and responsibilities.???

“We have lots of issues need to be improved and hope to work together to reach a new height with all the stakeholders,??? Islam, however, said.

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Source: Dhaka Tribune

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