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Bangladesh factories yet to meet fire safety requirements

Action will be taken against factories in Bangladesh which fail to implement adequate fire and building safety measures. A number of readymade garment factories have still not met Accord and Alliance requirements. Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh is a grouping of European retailers. Alliance for Bangladesh Workers Safety is a grouping of North American buyers. Accord is a platform of 150 EU retailers while Alliance comprises 26 retailers from North America.

Accord and Alliance conducted inspections in a number of factories and found some had kept fire exits locked during working hours, no clear escape gates, skipped appointment letters to workers and were not regular in salary payments etc. The country has a total of 3,460 clothing factories in operation now.

The industry is rife with horrifically unsafe conditions, corruption, shoddy oversight, low wages, and child labor. The sector’s safety regulations and protections for garment workers remain nowhere near sufficient.

Bangladesh rose to its position largely because of its lack of regulation and the low wages it pays its garment workers, most of whom are women. Bangladesh’s minimum wage for the sector is one of the world’s lowest. As fashion brands look to cut costs, and wages continue to rise in China, Bangladesh becomes an increasingly attractive place to make clothes on the cheap.