BGMEA trashes NYT report on factory fire

Staff Correspondent

13 July, 2021 12:00 AM printer

Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) has trashed a report by the New York Times(NYT) for ‘generalizing’ the fire incident at a juice factory to undermine the RMG industry.

On July 9, New York Times ran news on a recent fire incident in a Bangladeshi juice factory, linking unjustifiably and generalizing the incident with the RMG industry, BGMEA said in a statement on Monday.

At the end of the report, New York Times linked the factory fire with the RMG sector, citing that ‘deadly fires have plagued Bangladeshi factories, especially those in its garment industry, which accounts for about 80 per cent of the country’s exports.

The newspaper brought examples of Tazreen Garments and Rana Plaza Incidents as references to the factory fires in Bangladesh.

However, BGMEA termed the reference linking as the ‘targets from few global media regularly’ in case of any accident or failure in any sector of the industries which has no relationship with RMG industry.

“Between 2012 and 2019, there were more than 150 fire and other safety episodes connected to the country’s garment industry, according to the Solidarity Center, a workers’ rights organization,” read the NYT report.

BGMEA President Faruque Hassan said the RMG industry has made tremendous efforts to improve the safety gears and working environment of factories.  “We need to keep up our efforts to ensure the safety of the workers. We have already fulfilled the standard set by the international agencies. We have made a huge investment to have the standard and we must maintain this at any cost,” he said.

Faruque alleged that despite the BGMEA’s efforts, a section of foreign media outlets had been running news against the garment industry in Bangladesh.

The RMG industry remains on top in Bangladesh’s foreign trading, with $31.46 billion or around 81.16 per cent of total export earnings in the 2020-21 fiscal year.