Dhaka, May 19 (UNB) – Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) has planned to establish a ‘RMG Sustainability Council (RSC) to ensure the full and independent national compliance monitoring system in Bangladesh.
The RSC will be governed by BGMEA, Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA), brands, and workers’ representatives, said the apex body of the country’s apparel industry on Sunday.
The RSC will take over the structure, operation and resources of ACCORD as it phases out from Bangladesh in the 281 days of signing of the current memorandum of understanding (MoU).
The Supreme Court has allowed ACCORD on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh an extension of 281 days to operate in transition in the country, based on the MoU signed between the BGMEA and ACCORD on Sunday.
ACCORD helps readymade garment factories in Bangladesh become safe – and stay safe – for millions of workers.
The RSC is envisaged to take over all the safety-related matters in the RMG industry within the legal framework of the government of Bangladesh, according to the BGMEA.
During the transition period, the BGMEA will immediately establish an operating unit within the ACCORD’s Dhaka office named ‘BGMEA Unit’ to ensure a smoother transition.
A technical sub-committee with senior experts, especially from Buet among others, will be formed to complement the transition process.
The BGMEA Unit will regularly update RCC on the progress made.
In a bid to work collaboratively, it was agreed that there will be no termination or escalation of any factory from ACCORD’s end without the agreement of the BGMEA Unit, according to the MoU.
ACCORD agreed that there will be no group termination in the case of failure of one factory.
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.
In the case of any dispute between BGMEA unit and ACCORD, the matter will be referred to RCC for the final settlement.
The parties also agreed to work on developing modalities for listing new factories within the safety regimes.
The MoU marks a departure from the past unilateral framework and establishes the route to self-monitoring, according to the BGMEA.
As a gesture of goodwill of the BGMEA Board and ACCORD, this MoU represents the true spirit of collaboration in the transition.