Staff Correspondent: Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) and Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh, a European brands and buyers’ agency for factory inspection and remediation, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) while the later got the permission to run their remediation work for 281 days more from 8th May 2019 granted by Supreme Court. The overall clauses of the contract emphasizes on better and developed monitoring system to bring significant development in the apparel industry.
The contract signing highlights- BGMEA proposes a permanent national monitoring safety compliance system titled ‘RMG Sustainability Compliance (RSC)’ under which the highest body of country’s apparel industry, along with Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA), brands, and workers’ representatives, will take over the structure, operation and resources of ACCORD once they leave from Bangladesh. RSC will continue the factory inspections, remediation programs, follow ups, worker trainings and the independent grievance mechanism systems while the transparency features, as like ACCORD, will be maintained in a public website. BGMEA is to work in collaboration with Accord to ensure smooth and effective transition to RSC updating the flow to Remediation Coordination Cell (RCC). Besides, a technical sub-committee with senior experts, especially from BUET, will be formed to complement the transition process. In case of any difference between Accord and BGMEA over a Corrective Action Plan (CAP), will be handing over to an expert committee of Accord, RCC and BUET. The parties also agreed to work on developing modalities for listing new factories within the safety regimes.
Additionally, there will be no duplication of inspection between the safety initiatives (RCC, ACCORD and Nirapon). This means that factories once inspected by ACCORD, Nirapon, RCC or any other inspecting authorities will be considered as common standards. During this remaining time frame (281 days), Accord shall be granted its legal permission to go on with their activities in Bangladesh.
So far it was a great initiative taken by both sides, BGMEA and ACCORD. Now, time to watch out for what this agreement does actually bring for the betterment of the garment industry of Bangladesh.