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Bangladesh may shut errant RMG units

More than 300 readymade garment factories in Bangladesh face the threat of closure since they have failed to make the required remedial progress. Among other steps, their export license may be suspended. Some 3,780 garment factories were assessed for fire, electrical and structural integrity by Accord and Alliance and other initiatives after the Rana Plaza building collapse in April 2013 that killed more than 1,100 people.

Now factories are inspected jointly by experts supported by ILO and the buyers’ platforms Accord and Alliance. Bangladesh now has 67 LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) factories, certified by the United States Green Building Council, of which 13 are platinum. Seven out of world’s top 13 LEED certified factories are in Bangladesh and 280 more are in the pipeline for getting certification. Meanwhile the labor law was amended in July 2013 and another revision of the law is in progress. A workers’ welfare fund has been created to which the garment industry alone contributed around 10 million dollars last fiscal year. Before the Rana Plaza tragedy garment factories focused only on child labor, limiting working hours, wages for overtime duties and on achieving technical compliance like fire extinguishers, gloves, boots, helmets for workers.