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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Bangladesh garment suppliers urge for fair prices, unified code of conduct

For the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association workers’ wages remain a primary issue. The international brands press apparel suppliers for better wages to garment workers but mostly refuse to contribute in this regard nor do they enhance buying rates.

The BGMEA President SM Mannan (Kochi) has urged the International Labour Organisation to take an initiative to establish such a code, stressing its significance for the benefit of all stakeholders – including buyers, manufacturers and workers worldwide.

He also emphasised the importance of fair minimum prices for apparel, stating that without such pricing mechanisms the industry would not be sustainable in the long run. Mannan made the request when a delegation of the ILO, led by country director for Bangladesh Tuomo Poutiainen, paid a courtesy call on him on Monday.

The BGMEA president also urged the ILO to press this cause in global forums and in discussions with buyers, focusing its importance for the labour-intensive garment sector, said a press release.

The ILO delegation, comprising Mohamad Anis Agung Nugroho, programme manager of Better Work Bangladesh project; Linnea Strand, programme and operations officer; and Md Saidul Islam, senior programme officer, engaged in discussions with BGMEA leaders regarding the progress of the ongoing ILO-led initiatives, especially Better Work Bangladesh aimed at enhancing working conditions and ensuring occupational safety for ready-made garment workers in Bangladesh.

The meeting, held at BGMEA Complex, also discussed potential collaborations between the ILO and the BGMEA to further develop the industry, with a specific focus on capacity building to align with evolving regulations such as the Due Diligence Directive and to enhance workers’ well-being.

One of the pivotal topics addressed during the meeting was the necessity for a unified code of conduct for social and technical audits, universally accepted across the industry.

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