The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) has refuted a report by US Senator Robert Menendez on alleging Bangladesh apparel factories of labor rights and safety violations. Submitted recently, the report titled ‘Seven Years after Rana Plaza, Significant Challenges Remain,’ expressed concerns about the welfare of workers in the garment industry.
The report says, over 1,100 Bangladeshis were killed and thousands injured when Rana Plaza caved in on April 23, 2013 in the nation's deadliest industrial incident. BGMEA has demanded further clarification on this as the sample size of the interview-based report seems over-generalised The association has called for more substantiated details about physical abuse and mistreatment of a worker named Shopna interviewed in the report.
The association also refuted allegation of harassment and low wage payment. It stated that the workers of Youngone are paid above the nationally set minimum wage of Tk 8,000.The Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh receives regular phone calls from workers about occupational health and safety. It received 36 calls in 2019 and 2020.
On the complaint of termination of workers by 104 garment factories in December 2018, the association revealed that a committee was formed in May last year to assess the appropriateness of the number of terminated labourers and filed cases and to find justified solutions. Bangladesh amended the labour laws and increased the minimum wage for garment workers in 2018.