BANGLADESH, SWEDEN SIGN DEAL TO IMPROVE RMG WORKING CONDITIONS
Following the disastrous incident of Rana Plaza collapse in 2013, Bangladesh’s reputation as a leading RMG export country suffered a huge blow.
Almost 80% of Bangladesh’s export earnings is brought in by the garments sector which has seen rapid growth since the 1980s.
Bangladesh’s main garment export countries, such as the European Union countries, have since expressed concern over the factory safety and workers right issues in Bangladesh.
In order to improve the working conditions of the RMG workers, an agreement has been signed in New York in order to help enhance “workplace rights and industrial relations” in Bangladesh’s clothing industry.
“According to the agreement, Bangladesh will receive $5.4 million from Sweden to work on the initiatives taken to improve RMG factory workers working conditions and will continue from Nov 2015 to Dec 2020,” said the UN agency ILO.
Swedish Minister for International Development Cooperation Isabella Lövin, ILO Director General Guy Ryder, and Bangladesh’s Secretary for Labour Mikail Shipar signed the agreement on Saturday in the margins of the UN General Assembly.
Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven and Bangladesh Foreign Minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali witnessed the signing.
Bangladesh’s department of labor will be assisting The ILO implement the project named ‘Promoting Social Dialogue and Harmonious Industrial Relations in the Bangladesh Ready-Made Garment Industry.’
The project will also engage international buyers and trade unions.
Director General of ILO Guy Ryder acknowledged the progress made in RMG sector over recent years and said that this step will greatly improve labor working conditions in Bangladesh.
“This initiative will make a major contribution towards that goal. Although initially it is targeting the garment industry, but the impact of the project will eventually cover all sectors,” he said.
Swedish Minister Lövin also put emphasis on the need to support women garment workers.
She also added “Sweden is proud to partner with Bangladesh and ILO in this project, especially as it focuses on a sector where 80 percent of the workers are women.”
SEPTEMBER 26, 2015