Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)- American Apparel and Footwear Association (AAFA) has started discussions with all apparel industry stakeholders in search of practical and sustainable long-term solutions to the serious worker safety issues in Bangladesh.
Under the latest move, President and chief executive officer (CEO) of the AAFA Kevin M. Burke met Foreign Minister Dipu Moni, Bangladesh ambassador to the United States Akramul Qader and members of parliament at a hotel in Washington DC on Wednesday.
“Today, I meet with key Bangladeshi officials to discuss how we need to address the critical issues that led to the recent tragedies in Bangladesh’s garment industry, the AAFA president said in a statement. “Our dialogue was very constructive as we begin high-level discussions with all apparel industry stakeholders in search of practical and sustainable long-term solutions to the serious worker safety issues in Bangladesh.”
They discussed AAFA’s long-standing and positive relationship with Bangladesh, including the successful education and training programmes AAFA has hosted in Bangladesh, the statement said, adding that they also discussed the important roles all stakeholders have in seeking long-term solutions, including the stronger and more consistent enforcement of building and safety rules.
During the meeting, the Bangladeshi officials explained many of the immediate steps the government has taken since the recent building collapse. While progress has been made, much more work remains to be done.
The foreign minister thanked the AAFA and the buyers for standing beside Bangladesh at its most tragic moment in the recent history.
Dipu Moni has stressed on ethical pricing and responsible role of foreign buyers of Bangladesh garment products for advancing factory safety and labour welfare.
“An ethical pricing and responsible role of the buyers are extremely critical for advancing factory safety and labour welfare,” she told Congressman Joseph Crowley, the co-chair of Bangladesh Caucus in the US Congress, when she met him in Washington DC on the same day.
The minister told the US congressman that Bangladesh government is fully committed to improve factory condition and has engaged all stakeholders to make a safer work environment for all workers, a foreign ministry statement said in Dhaka on Thursday (May16).
In this connection, she said the Bangladesh cabinet has approved the amendments to the 2006 Labour Law which is expected to be passed in the upcoming parliament session.
While apprising Congressman Crowley on the government’s immediate response to the tragic accidents in Savar and Tazreen, the foreign minister said a baseline survey is underway to find factories housed in faulty buildings and to take punitive measures against the violators of building and fire safety codes.
She expressed the hope that within a year or so, Bangladesh’s trading partners would see a positive change in its factories and find those compliance with the required standards.
BBN/SSR/AD-17May13-5:53 pm (BST)