Bangladesh: the Government challenges the Accord
Next Monday 18, the Supreme Court of Bangladesh is expected to decide the future of this agreement that last July 119 international companies to give continuity for another three years.
The textile industry in Bangladesh continues to be in the spotlight. After a few weeks of demonstrations for salaries, in which fifty people were injured and around 8,000 workers were dismissed from thirty factories, the country returns to the front line before the threat of the closure of the Accord on Fire and Building Safety a few months after its renewal.
Next Monday, February 18, the Supreme Court of Bangladesh is expected to decide the future of this agreement, which last July renewed 119 international companies to give continuity for another three years. The first Accord, which was signed in 2013 as a result of the Rana Plaza tragedy, ended last year and it was decided then to establish an extension until 2021, a transition period to delegate its function to the Government.
However, from IndustriAll it is reported that, since the Accord was renewed, the Government of Bangladesh has been appealing to the established procedures trying to prevent it from continuing to develop its activity in the advancement of safety in manufacturing facilities.
Just after renewing the agreement for three more years, the Bengali Executive filed an order of restriction of the Accord procedures, which had to enter into force on November 30, 2018. The Government of the country intended to submit all decisions of the organization to the approval of a government committee, in addition to prohibit inspectors from identifying new security problems.
The Accord could stop operating in Bangladesh if next Monday the courts force to apply the restrictions of the Government
Just before the Executive’s proposal came into force, the Supreme Court of Bangladesh held a first hearing following the appeal filed by the Accord against the Government order. On December 6, a second hearing was held and, for next week, the third one is scheduled, which will be decisive to guarantee its future.
The Accord still maintains its office in Dhaka that has a structure with more than 200 employees. In case that the decision of the court favoured the Bengali Government, the office would be closed and would only have the option to continue operating from Amsterdam. This transfer would make it difficult to inspect and supervise the factories.
However, what from the Executive or the association of the sector in the country can be seen as a threat to their competitiveness, is somehow their lifeline, since the exit of the Accord from the country could lead to the termination of contracts by of large fashion distribution groups with those factories that do not have all the guarantees, as the companies alerted.
During its first five years of operation, the Accord carried out 7,000 periodic inspections and examined around 1,800 clothing factories. A total of 172 factories completed the task of correcting incidents.
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