Bangladeshi RMG Sector - The Future - Compliance

Compliance

Five deadly incidents from November 2012 through May 2013 brought worker safety and labor violations in Bangladesh to world attention putting pressure on big global clothing brands such as Primark, Loblaw, Joe Fresh, Gap, Walmart, Nike, Tchibo, Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger, and retailers to respond by using their economic weight to enact change. No factory owner has ever been prosecuted over the deaths of workers. Other major fires 1990 and 2012, resulting in hundreds of accidental deaths, include those at That's It Sportswear Limited and the fire at Tazreen Fashions Ltd. Spectrum Sweater Industries, Phoenix Garments, Smart Export Garments, Garib and Garib, Matrix Sweater, KTS Composite Textile Mills and Sun Knitting. major foreign buyers looking for outsourcing demand compliance-related norms and standards regarding a safe and healthy work environment which includes fire-fighting equipment, evacuation protocols and mechanisms and appropriate installation of machines in the whole supply-chain. RMG insiders in Bangladesh complain about the pressure to comply and argue that RMG factory owners are hampered by a shortage of space in their rental units. In spite of this the industry exports totaled $19 billion in 2011-2012. They expected export earnings to increase to $23 billion in 2012-2013.

Two dozen factory owners are also Members of Parliament in Bangladesh.

Scott Nova of the Worker Rights Consortium, a rights advocacy group, claimed that auditors, some of whom were paid by the factories they inspect, sometimes investigated workers right issues such as hours or child labour but did not properly inspect factories’ structural soundness or fire safety violations. Nova argued that the cost of compliance to safety standards in all 5,000 clothing factories in Bangladesh is about $3 billion (2013).

In 2000 garment entrepreneurs had a reputation for shirking custom duties, evading corporate taxes, remaining absent in capital markets, avoiding social projects such as education, healthcare, and disaster relief but, argued authors Quddus and Salim, these entrepreneurs took the risks needed to build the industry. Bangladesh successfully competes in the manufacturing industry by maintaining "lowest labor costs in the world." Garment workers' minimum wage was set at roughly $37 a month in 2012 but since 2010 Bangladesh's double-digit inflation with no corresponding rise in minimum wage and labor rights, has led to protests.

A fire broke out on 24 November 2012, in the Tazreen Fashion factory in Dhaka killing 117 people and injuring 200. It was the deadliest factory fire in the history of Bangladesh. According to the New York Times, Walmart played a significant role in blocking reforms to have retailers pay more for apparel in order to help Bangladesh factories improve safety standards. Walmart director of ethical sourcing, Sridevi Kalavakolanu, asserted that the company would not agree to pay the higher cost, as such improvements in electrical and fire safety in the 4,500 factories would be a "very extensive and costly modification" and that "it is not financially feasible for the brands to make such investments."

On April 24 910 textile workers factories making clothes for Western brands, were killed when a garment factory collapsed. The Savar building collapse was in the Rana Plaza complex, in Savar, an industrial corner 20 miles northwest of Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh. It was the "world's deadliest industrial accident since the Bhopal disaster in India in 1984. While some 2,500 were rescued from the rubble including many who were injured, the total number of those missing remained unknown weeks later. The eight-story building, owned by Sohel Rana, associated with the ruling Awami League, was constructed on a "pond filled with sand". It only had planning approval for five floors. Owners used "shoddy building materials, including substandard rods, bricks and cement, and did not obtaining the necessary clearances." An engineer raised safety concerns after noticing cracks in the Rana Plaza complex the day before its collapse. In spite of this factories stayed open to fill overdue orders. When generators were restarted after a power blackout the building caved in. Six garment factories also in Rana Plaze were cleared to re-open on May 9, 2013 after inspectors allegedly issued safety certificates. Nine people were arrested including four factory owners, the owner of the complex and the engineer who warned of the crack in the building.

Immediately following the April 24 deadly industrial accident, Mahbub Ahmed, the top civil servant in Bangladesh's Commerce Ministry, fearing the loss of contracts that represent 60 per cent of their textile industry exports, pleaded with the EU to not take tough, punitive measures or "impose any harsh trade conditions" on Bangladesh to "improve worker safety standards" that would hurt the "economically crucial textile industry" and lead to the loss of millions of jobs.

On May 9, 2013 eight people were killed when a fire broke out at a textile factory in an eleven-story building in the Mirpur industrial district owned by Tung Hai Group, a large garment exporter. Mohammad Atiqul Islam, president of the politically powerful textile industry lobby group, the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), told Reuters that "the Bangladeshi managing director of the company and a senior police officer were among the dead."

Read more about this topic:  Bangladeshi RMG Sector, The Future

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Compliance

Compliance can mean:

  • In mechanical science, the inverse of stiffness
  • In healthcare:
    • Compliance (medicine), a patient's (or doctor's) adherence to a recommended course of treatment
    • Compliance (physiology), the tendency of a hollow organ to resist recoil toward its original dimensions
    • Pulmonary compliance (or lung compliance), change in lung volume for applied or dynamic pressure
    • Compliance (psychology), responding favorably to a request offered by others
  • Environmental compliance, conforming to environmental laws, regulations, standards and other requirements
  • Regulatory compliance, adherence to standards, regulations, and other requirements
  • Compliance (film), released in 2012

Famous quotes containing the word compliance:

    In this our talking America, we are ruined by our good nature and listening on all sides. This compliance takes away the power of being greatly useful.
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882)

    Discipline isn’t just punishing, forcing compliance or stamping out bad behavior. Rather, discipline has to do with teaching proper deportment, caring about others, controlling oneself and putting someone else’s wishes before one’s own when the occasion calls for it.
    Lawrence Balter (20th century)

    I am not of the opinion generally entertained in this country [England], that man lives by Greek and Latin alone; that is, by knowing a great many words of two dead languages, which nobody living knows perfectly, and which are of no use in the common intercourse of life. Useful knowledge, in my opinion, consists of modern languages, history, and geography; some Latin may be thrown into the bargain, in compliance with custom, and for closet amusement.
    Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl Chesterfield (1694–1773)