.: Compliance Monitoring Cell (CMC) :.

Introduction:

In the post-quota globalized world, issues relating to social compliance have become increasingly important in the export-oriented RMG Sector in Bangladesh.

In a developing country like Bangladesh, RMG sector plays an important role in the overall economic development of our country. At present approximately 20 lakh workers (among which 80% is female) are working in this sector which is a great source of employment. It is also mentionable that about 76% of our foreign exchange is also earned by this sector. But after elimination of quota under MFA, Bangladesh does not have the protected market any more. With the collapse of Savar Spectrum Garment factory the issues of Social Compliance has become a burning issue in RMG sector and lots of pressure have been imposed on the industry proprietors as well as on the government regarding the safety of workers and their over all welfare. The safety of the workers has become a national issue. The government has also emphasized on the issue of safety & welfare of workers. As a result, on 11 June 2005, a meeting was held under chairmanship of the Commerce Minister and after massive discussion, a Social Compliance Forum (SCF) was constituted headed by Honorable Commerce Minister. The composition of Social Compliance Forum is as follows :


Honble Commerce Minister  Chairman

Honble State Minister for Labor

Co-chairman

Executive Chairman, Board Of Investment (BOI)  

Member

Secretaries of Commerce, Home, Labour, Textile, Industries, Works and Women & Child Affairs

Member

Executive Chairman, Bangladesh Export Processing Zone Area (BEPZA)

Member

Vice Chairman, Export Promotion Bureau (EPB)

Member

Director General-3, Prime Minister's Office (PMO)

Member

Director General, Fire Service & Civil Defense

Member

Director, Labor        

Member

President, Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers &  Exporters Association (BGMEA), Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers &  Exporters Association (BKMEA), Bangladesh Terry Towel Lylen Manufacturers &  Exporters Association (BTTLMEA)

Member

President, Bangladesh Independent Garments Workers Union Federation (BIGUF)

Member

Representatives from Workers (3)

Member

Representative, Business Social Compliance Initiative

Member

Representatives from Nari Uddag Kendra (NUK), Karmajibi Nari

Member

Representative UNDP, GTZ, ILO, LCG

Member

Joint Secretary (Export), Ministry Of Commerce (MOC)

Member-Secretary


In order to meet various requirements on Social Compliance including occupational safety and security, labour welfare and improvement of working conditions in the export oriented Ready-made Garments (RMG) industry of Bangladesh, Government has constituted the following two Taskforces and one Compliance Monitoring Cell :
Taskforce on Labour Welfare in RMG headed by Joint Secretary, Ministry of Labour and Employment. Composition of the committee is as follows :


Joint Secretary, Ministry Of Labor and Employment (MOLE)

Chairman

Joint Secretary, (Export), Ministry Of Commerce (MOC)

Member

Deputy Secretary, Ministry of Women & Children Affairs (MW&CA)

Member

Director, Textile, Export Promotion Bureau, (EPB)

Member

Chief Inspector, Factories & Establishments

Member

Director, Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers & Exporters Association (BGMEA)

Member

Consultant, Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers & Exporters Association (BGMEA)

Member

Director, Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers & Exporters Association (BKMEA)

Member

President, Bangladesh Independent Garments Workers Union Federation (BIGUF)

Member

Representative(s), Workers' Union

Member

Director, Directorate of Labor                 

Member-Secretary


Taskforce may co-opt any number of members.

Taskforce on Occupational Safety in RMG headed by Joint Secretary, Ministry of Housing and Public Works. Composition of the committee is as follows :


Joint Secretary, Ministry Of Works (MOW)          

Chairman

Joint Secretary, (Export), Ministry Of Commerce (MOC)

Member

Deputy Secretary, Ministry Of Works (MOW)

Member

Deputy Secretary, Ministry Of Industry (MOI)

Member

Director, Textile, Export Promotion Bureau (EPB)

Member

Representative from Ministry Of Environment & Forest (MOE&F)

Member

Chief Inspector, Factories & Establishments

Member

Director, Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers & Exporters Association BGMEA (2)

Member

Director, Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers &  Exporters Association BKMEA (2)

Member

President, Bangladesh Independent Garments Workers Union Federation (BIGUF)

Member

Representative(s), Workers' Union

Member

Director, Operations, fire Service & Civil Defense

Member-Secretary


Taskforce may co-opt any number of members.

Compliance Monitoring Cell

In order to monitor the activities relating to Social Compliance including safety & security, labour welfare and improvement of working condition in the export-oriented Ready-made Garments (RMG) Industries of Bangladesh, a Compliance Monitoring Cell was formed in the office of the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB), 1 Kawran Bazar, TCB Bhaban, Dhaka.  Director General (Textile), Export Promotion Bureau is acting as the chief of the Compliance Monitoring Cell. The TOR of the cell are :

  1. Provide secretarial support services to the 'Social Compliance Forum for RMG' and issue specific taskforces on compliance issues;
  2. Review the reports received from the Taskforces and report to the 'Social Compliance Forum for RMG';
  3. Keep regular contacts with the international buyer groups on compliance issues;
  4. Raise awareness on social compliance among those involved in RMG production and export process;
  5. Recommend EPB and Ministry of Commerce on activities undertaken on compliance for building images abroad;
  6. Seek, consult and gather information from related ministries/ departments/ stakeholders including international buyers on compliance and safety related issues/aspects;
  7. Create database on RMG industry (ownership, location, items produced, production capacity, number of employee, etc,); and
  8. Other activities as suggested by the 'Social Compliance Forum for RMG'.

1. Taskforce on Occupational Safety in RMG

Taskforce on occupational Safety in RMG has prepared short term, medium term & long term work plan as per Terms of Reference,(TOR)  classifying in four security aspect as mentioned below: (Detail in ANNEX-A)
-   Fire Safety
-   Building safety
-   Environment safety
-   Security matter safety

The respective organizations of the government i.e. Fire Service & Civil Defense, RAJUK, Ministry of Environment & Forest and Department of Chief Inspector for Factories and Establishment have started their work on the Action plan (short term) for implementation of the above compliance issues.

 

2. Taskforce on Labour Welfare in RMG

Taskforce on labour welfare in RMG has also prepared short term, medium term & long-term work plan as per Terms of Reference (TOR) on the following social compliances: (Detail In ANNEX-B)
-    Elimination of all sort of discrimination ;
-    Abolition of forced labour ;
-    Removal of all sort of harassment and abuses ;
-    Free from child labour ;
-    Provide the worker with an appointment letter ;
-    Reasonable working hour ;
-    Health and hygiene; and
-    Right for freedom of association and collective bargaining.

Taskforce on labour welfare in RMG has started their work on the Action plan (short term) for implementation of the above compliance issues.

Compliance Monitoring cell has prepared a work plan in short term, medium term and long term basis as per Terms of Reference (TOR) and started work on the action plan. (Detail in ANNEX-C)

 

Action Taken by the Compliance Monitoring Cell (CMC)

The following actions have been taken on the work plan by the CMC:

  • A database for 600 (Six hundreds) RMG units has been prepared.  This database includes addresses of the factories, ownership, items produced, production capacity, number of employees etc. Preparation of database for others RMG unit is going on.
  • The addresses of 52 local buying houses working in Dhaka and addresses of 110 Foreign buyers have been collected to keep regular contact with them. Moreover, BGMEA, BKMEA have been requested to supply this office with the names address, phone number, fax, e-mail addresses of the international buying groups working in Bangladesh.
  • CMC of EPB has taken an awareness program and under this program 400 RMG units have been intimated regarding social compliance and requested to comply with compliance issues. CMC has also initiated for organizing seminar/workshop for campaigning awareness of compliance issues.
  • CMC of EPB also took some other measures for fulfilling Social Compliances. Under these measures EPB has instructed all RMG units to submit Group Insurance, Structural Design and Lay-out plan for factory buildings duly approved by Rajdhani Unnayan Kartipakkah (RAJUK) and other competent Authorities. However as per decision in the 3rd meeting of Social Compliance forum held on 24 April, 2006, the lay out plans and structural design of the factory to be submitted to EPB for obtaining new registration or renewal of registration has been relaxed and the validity of the provisional permission provided by EPB would be 1 (one) year in place of 3 (three) months.
  • Joint Taskforce under BGMEA has sent inspection reports to the CMC during the period from 1st April - 22nd June, 2006. BGMEA surveillance teams inspected 2435 garments factories in Dhaka and 575 factories in Chittagong to monitor fire safety measures. From 1st April 22nd June BGMEA has completed fire drill of 1865 units/factories, among which 40 factories found exits under locked and 21 factories found exit blocked by keeping goods. CMC on getting reports from BGMEA, sent it to the Social Compliance Forum in Ministry of Commerce.
  • As per decision of technical committee of Social Compliance Forum, CMC has conducted a meeting with BGMEA, BKMEA, Fire Service, Labour Department, RAJUK and chief Inspector.
    1. As per decision of the meeting CMC deputed 2 representative to the inspection team of BGMEA.
    2. It was decided that the definition of the 'Risk Building' will be determined by RAJUK.
 
Crash Programme On fire Safety Taken By BGMEA

BGMEA has started crash programme as Follow-up Report (2nd phase) from 1st July 2006. The BGMEA surveillance teams inspected 682 Garments Factories in Dhaka and 587 Garments Factories in Chittagong to monitor safety measures. From 1st July to 31st August 2006, BGMEA completed fire drill of 1108 units of the factories among which no factories found exit under lock but 05 factories only in Dhaka found exit blocked by keeping textile goods.

 

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