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BGMEA urges ILO to push for fair apparel prices, universal auditing norms

BGMEA urges ILO to push for fair apparel prices, universal auditing norms

Business Desk

Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) President SM Mannan has urged the International Labour Organization (ILO) to press the issues of fair minimum prices for apparel and a unified code of auditing conduct in global forums and in discussions with buyers.

Both the issues concern ILO and the workers in Bangladeshi garment factories as they directly or indirectly determine the well-being of these workers.

He made the call when an ILO delegation, led by Country Director for Bangladesh Tuomo Poutiainen, paid a courtesy call on SM Mannan (Kochi) at BGMEA Complex on Monday.

One of the pivotal topics addressed during the meeting was the need for implementing a unified code of conduct for social and technical audits that would be universally accepted. Well-being of workers is one of the issues scrutinised during social audits in a factory, and divergent auditing practices leave room for unfair treatment of Bangladeshi factories.

The BGMEA president urged the ILO to take an initiative to establish such a code, stressing its significance for the benefit of all stakeholders – including buyers, manufacturers and workers worldwide.

He also emphasised the importance of fair minimum prices for apparel exports, stating that without such pricing mechanisms, the industry would not be sustainable in the long run and ultimately the well-being of workers would be seriously threatened.

The ILO delegation comprised Mohamad Anis Agung Nugroho, programme manager of Better Work Bangladesh project; Linnea Strand, programme and operations officer; and Md Saidul Islam, senior programme officer.

They engaged in discussions with BGMEA leaders regarding the progress of the ongoing ILO-led initiatives, especially “Better Work Bangladesh” aimed at enhancing working conditions and ensuring occupational safety for ready-made garment (RMG) workers in Bangladesh.

The meeting also discussed potential collaborations between the ILO and BGMEA to further develop the industry, with a specific focus on capacity building to help the country’s garment industry align with emerging global regulations such as the EU’s “Due Diligence Directive,” and for facilitating the overall well-being of RMG workers.

The attendees from BGMEA were Vice Presidents Arshad Jamal (Dipu), Md. Nasir Uddin, Miran Ali and Abdullah Hil Rakib as well as Directors Md Imranur Rahman, Shovon Islam, Haroon Ar Rashid, Md Mohiuddin Rubel, Barrister Shehrin Salam Oishee, Saifuddin Siddiquie Sagar, Md Rezaul Alam (Miru). Chair of BGMEA Standing Committee on Labour and ILO Affairs ANM Saifuddin also attended the meeting.

 

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