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Workers safety, welfare a top priority in RMG industry

Says BGMEA vice-president Shahidullah Azim

  • Special Correspondent
  • 26 August, 2022 12:00 AM
  • Print news
Workers safety, welfare a top priority in RMG industry

Bangladesh's ready-made garment industry has placed workers' safety and welfare on top priority, said Shahidullah Azim, vice president of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA).

“Workers’ safety and welfare is a top priority in the country's RMG industry," he said, adding that the industry has ensured a better and congenial atmosphere for workers over the years through various steps including OSH, industrial relations, while steps have also been taken to tackle gender-based violence and discrimination, workers hygiene etc,

He made the remarks while addressing a national consultation on the wellbeing of RMG workers, organised by Brac in Dhaka on Thursday. Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi attended the programme as the chief guest.

BGMEA Vice President Shahidullah Azim said the RMG industry is globally acclaimed for its impressive achievements, especially in ensuring workplace safety and workers’ rights and wellbeing.

Labour and Employment Secretary Md Ehsan-E-Elahi was present as the special guest while Research Director at CPD Dr Khondaker Golam Moazzem also attended the event.

In his speech, Shahidullah Azim said, “Currently,

many garment factories are arranging awareness raising programmes for their workers regarding menstrual hygiene, reproductive health, family planning, and other related matters.”

“The factories maintain a health care centre, eye care facility, day care center, fair price shop, and so on within the premises. Many of those also run schools, hospital for the workers and their children,” he added.

Besides, a workers’ welfare fund has been created for the export-oriented industries where the garment industry is contributing millions of dollars every year, which increases in line with the growth of RMG exports, he said. He requested the government to allocate a portion of the central fund for the purpose of health insurance for garment workers.

BGMEA is also working with the government and different organisations including UNFPA, SNV Netherland Development, Maya, MonerBondhu, Zaynax Health, Common Health Bangladesh to implement programmes for the welfare of garment workers, he added.

Azim requested the government to extend support so that such programmes sustain in the long run.