Government, employers and workers on Thursday signed an action plan on fire safety and structural integrity in the Bangladesh’s garment industry to fulfil two previous commitments, consolidating the momentum to improve shoddy safety conditions in this sector.
Secretary for Labour and Employment Mikail Shipar,
Bangladesh Employees Federation President Md Fazlul Hoque, BGMEA Vice President
Reaz-Bin-Mahmood, BKMEA First Vice President Mohammad Hatem, NCCWE Chairman
Sukkur Mahmud and IBC Secretary-General Roy Ramesh Chandra signed the agreement
at a meeting at the labour ministry.
The Secretary will chair a
‘High-Level Tripartite Committee’ to monitor the implementation of the
International Labour Organisation (ILO) says it will assist in the
implementation and coordination of the plan.
Key areas identified in the
action plan include assessment of the structural integrity and fire safety of
garment factory buildings, strengthening labour inspection, worker and
management training and awareness of occupational safety and health and worker
rights and rehabilitation of disabled workers.
ILO says the plan has
integrated the National Tripartite Plan of Action on Fire Safety in the RMG
Sector, signed on March 24 in response to the Tazreen factory fire, and the
Joint Tripartite Statement adopted on May 4 in the wake of the Rana Plaza
“It is vital that we address fire safety and structural
integrity in a coordinated manner,” Secretary Shipar was quoted as saying in a
“This action plan brings together two sets of important
commitments by the Government and employers and workers organisations, which
will consolidate the momentum for improving RMG factory safety in Bangladesh,”
The integrated Plan of Action identifies activities that “fall
within the tripartite partners’ individual and/or collective responsibility and
need to be implemented to ensure an integrated approach to promoting fire safety
and building integrity in Bangladesh in general and in the ready-made garment
sector in particular”.
The plan laid down legislation and policy,
administrative and practical activities, as well as the respective partners
responsible for the implementation of the activities, and a timeframe for its
“We welcome this endorsement of the integrated National
Tripartite Plan of Action on Fire Safety and Structural Integrity, which will be
the main framework document for improving working conditions in the garment
industry in Bangladesh,” Srinivas B. Reddy, Director of the ILO’s office in
“It is another important step in our progression towards
improving worker safety in the RMG sector in Bangladesh,” he said.
monitoring committee will review and update the Plan of Action including
activities to be carried out until 2015 and develop ways “through which other
stakeholders can support implementation of - and coordination with - the
integrated plan of action”.
The ILO has developed a three year programme
on “Improving Working Conditions in the Ready-Made Garment Sector” to support
implementation of the action plan.