Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)- A government panel has temporarily closed down three more garment factories in Dhaka after engineers hired by Western retailers' detected major structural flaws in the building, taking the total number of workers under threat of losing jobs to over 13,000 in the last one month.
With the suspension of production in the factories — Four Wings Limited, Attuune Garments and Natural Apparel — at Mirpur in the capital on Friday, the number of total factories closed temporarily reached 10 in Dhaka and Chittagong. Two more factories were also closed partially for structural faults.
The government panel has ordered for, a 15-day closure of the three factories in an eight-storied complex in the capital city, according to Syed Ahmed, Inspector General of Department of Inspection for Factories and Establishments (DIFE). “The building is overloaded while structural flaws are also found there.”
According to the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), the number of workers who were affected by production suspension reached 13,900 while the owners said that the number was 13,300.
“The authorities concerned have asked for a detailed engineering assessment within next 15 days and during the period production would remain suspended there,” Shahidullah Azim, vice president of the BGMEA, who is also a member of the official review committee, told local media.
The review committee, comprising representatives from the government, Accord, Alliance, BUET, BGMEA and BKMEA have started scrutinising the recommendations.
After the Rana Plaza building collapse on April 24 last year that killed more than 1,100 people, mostly garment workers, the retailers and apparel brands of EU including H&M, Marks and Spencer, Mango, Inditex and Primark formed Accord for ensuring garment factory safety.
Accord has so far inspected structural integrity of 180 garment factories and fire and electrical safety of 224 units.
The North American Alliance also started inspection of around 500 garment factories in February this year and has so far inspected about 50 percent of their listed factories.
BBN/SSR/AD-13Apr14-1:05 am (BST)
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