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DHAKA – Bangladesh’s State minister for labour and employment, Mujibul Haque Chunnu, has told local press he wants the Bangladesh Accord and Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety out of the country by December 2018. His comments appear to contradict the official statement by the Bangladesh Accord in May this year, which said the Accord would remain present in the country until agreed criteria had been met. These include demonstrated proficiency in inspection capacity, remediation of hazards, enforcement of the law against non-compliant factories, full transparency of governance and remediation progress, and investigation and fair resolution of workers’ safety complaints.

The Minister told reporters: “I can assure you that no incident like Rana Plaza will happen in our country as the government has set up Remediation Coordination Cell (RCC) to ensure long-term sustainability and fire safety.”

Mujibul Haque said 3,780 RMG factories have preliminarily been assessed in terms of fire, electrical safety and structural integrityunder the initiatives of Accord, Alliance and National Initiative (NI) after the Rana Plaza incident. The remediation work is going on under these three initiatives.

He also said the country’s own Remediation Coordination Cell (RCC) is capable of monitoring and overseeing the remediation progress of factories, adding that there is therefore, “no need of the existence of the Accord and Alliance.”

The Remediation Coordination Cell for the Bangladesh garment industry is focused on managing the remediation process for garment factories under the Government of Bangladesh’s National Initiative.

The unit is staffed and supported by seconded members of regulatory bodies including the Department of Inspections for Factories and Establishments, Fire Service and Civil Defense, RAJUK, Chief Electrical Inspector, Public Works Department and Chittagong Development Authority. It is supported by the International Labour Organization (ILO) with funding from Canada, the Netherlands and United Kingdom.

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