State Minister for Labor and Employment M Mujibul Haque Chunnu on Tuesday urged the apparel makers to stay alert saying conspiracies, both at home and aboard, are on to destroy the country’s vital readymade garment sector.
“Please stay alert. Conspiracies, both domestically and internationally, are there to destroy the sector,” he told a workshop in the city.
Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) in association with Labor and Employment Ministry and UNFPA arranged the orientation workshop for the garment factory owners on ‘Changing Gender Norms of Garment Employees (ChaNGE) at the BGMEA conference room.
Labor Secretary Mikail Shipar, UNFPA Representative in Bangladesh Argentina Matavel Piccin and BGMEA President M Atiqul Islam, among others, spoke on the occasion.
Criticizing outgoing US Ambassador (Dan W Mozena) in Dhaka, the State Minister said he finds no logic behind too much talks though 93 percent factories do not have union practice.
“To my knowledge, only 6.9 percent factories (in USA) have unions. The rest --93 percent -- don’t have,” he said.
Mujibul Haque also said if Bangladesh does not export apparels they (western consumers) will not be able to source required for them.
The State Minister said he wanted to see how unions work in US factories and conveyed his interest to the US Ambassador. “Unfortunately, he (US envoy) didn’t tell anything about it till now.”
Appreciating progress in the RMG sector, Mujibul Haque urged the owners to improve working conditions further and visit factories frequently for deeper owners-workers relations.
He also said sexual harassment in the women-dominated garment industry has dropped significantly. “It’s quite impossible in the RMG industry as most of the workers are female.”
The BGMEA President said there is heartburning among others as Bangladesh is doing excellent in the apparel manufacturing. “BGMEA is committed to taking forward the industry ensuring workers’ welfare, dignity and safety.”
He urged all to work together to move ahead for reaching US$ 50 billion export landmark by 2021.
Argentina Piccin said Bangladesh has really shown improvement in women empowerment. “It’s the RMG sector that has contributed a lot towards empowering women.”
She encouraged the apparel makers to work together for the betterment of the RMG workers, especially female workers. “It’s time to do right things at the right time.”
Mikail Shipar said women in Bangladesh have been economically empowered and the BGMEA has played a very significant role to that end. “So far we’re in a good position. Yet we’ve the scope to improve further (for better services towards female workers).”
Dr Julia Ahmed and M Zaglul Hayder made two presentations in the seminar.
‘Conspiracies against RMG sector on’