Compliance System In RMG Industry in Bangladesh
The readymade garment (RMG) industry in Bangladesh has experienced an unprecedented growth. Over the last three decades and become a fast growing industry in Bangladesh. This industry plays a vital role in the economy in terms of export earnings, employment generation ,poverty alleviation and empowering the woman. For development of this sector, Bangladesh needs to emphasize on the factory working environment, social issues, labor relations and compliances with codes of conduct.
Compliance System In RMG Industry:
Social Accountability standards have been developed by the international organizations such as Fair Labor Association (FLA), Worldwide Responsible Apparel production (WRAP) , Council on Economic Priorities Accreditation Agency (CEPAA), The Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) and Business for Social Responsibility (BSR).
Reputed brand buyers in large supply chain have taken the guideline from those organizations and formulated their own standard of COC and also the acceptance criteria.
The basic principles of COC have been derived from the principles of international human rights norms as delineated in International Labour Organization Conventions, the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
It has nine core areas to be addressed upon. These are as follows:
- Child labour
- Forced labour
- Health and safety
- Working hours
- Free association and collective bargaining
- Management systems
While following the above criteria is compulsory for satisfying COC, local culture and regulation of Govt. can not be overlooked. For instance, limit of working hours and compensation for extra work may not be the same for all geographical zones in the globe. Minimum basic wage also depends on the economic situation of a particular country in question. The introduction of rights of free association and collective bargaining is guided by the political environment, the maturity level of workforce and above all the basic training of the management of the organization.
By keeping in mind the complex scenario, several case studies in Bangladesh have been made with respect to the information obtained through actual social compliance audits performed by leading auditors of internationally well known consumer products service companies.
Social compliance audits conducted as per the COC of different brand buyers of USA and Europe were basically based on the following steps:
Opening meeting with the factory management (informed the scope of audit)
Factory Tour (observed working condition)
Document Review (payroll, time card, personal file, age documentation etc.)
Closing meeting with factory management (discussed audit findings and recommended necessary improvements).
Highlights of typical findings in different aspects of social accountability are described below. Suggested corrective actions in typical cases are also indicated. Some of the non compliance issues have also been photographed as shown in Plate no 1 to 6. This is to understand the actual scenario of social compliance in different RMG factories in Bangladesh.
In RANA Plaza collapse death toll approaches 1,300 and many guys get injured.
After this collapse foreign buyers became very anxious about the compliance of GMT. Already Disney mart declared, they don’t source garments from BD.
Others dominated buyers also create pressure upon Bangladesh to maintain compliance in garment industry.
U.S.A also monitor about the GSP facility. They are in aggressive mood. They can abolish GSP facility for Bangladesh.
Now, I will focus on what are our buyer problems or pain, if we don’t maintain compliance in garments industry.
I would like to clear it by a simple example…
I hope, you all are introduced with burglar. They theft some materials from victim home. Then he sells these materials to a person at cheap rate.
When this burglar is caught and meeting is called then the burglar confesses his guilt. Then he is punished along with his buyer. Cause his buyer also guilty for supporting the burglar.
I think you are all clear about out garment buyer’s headache.
As a nation they are very gentle. They don’t like this violation of compliance in our RMG sector.
So, if we want to dominate this world by RMG sector i.e., Made in Bangladesh. we should be compliant.
Otherwise we will lose our market and it causes an adverse effect on our economy.