Journal of Social and Political
ISSN 2615-3718 (Online)
ISSN 2621-5675 (Print)
Published: 25 October 2023
Sustainability of the RMG Factory Monitoring Regime Under Accord, Alliance and DIFE in Bangladesh: A Qualitative Case Review of Bangladesh’s RMG Industry
ASM Anam Ullah
University of Wollongong, Australia
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Keywords: Accord, Alliance, DIFE, Globalisation and Neoliberalism, Bangladesh RMG, Bangladesh Labour Act, ILO Conventions, OHS
The Government of Bangladesh, RMG factory owners and international clothing brands from Western and European countries faced severe criticisms from consumers, trade unions and human rights organisations for inadequate factory monitoring in Bangladesh after the catastrophic Rana Plaza collapse in 2013. As a result, under intense pressure, the Government of Bangladesh allowed two private monitoring organisations (Accord and Alliance) led by European and North American apparel brands to monitor the RMG sector in Bangladesh. However, the Accord and Alliance conflicted with the Government of Bangladesh regarding the RMG factory monitoring program, resulting in the Alliance leaving Bangladesh in December 2018. The Accord's journey ends in mid-2020 in Bangladesh. The local monitoring agency, the Department of Inspection for Factory and Establishments (DIFE), operates under the Ministry of Labor and Employment in Bangladesh. The current research suggests that DIFE is not credible in monitoring local RMG factories in Bangladesh. Therefore, this article critically analyses factory monitoring in Bangladesh's RMG sector and presents evidence and data on whether the private initiative has been more successful than the traditional national approach led by the Bangladesh government. Moreover, recommendations are made to the Bangladesh government, RMG employers and international apparel brands on what should be done to ensure the safety of workers in the country's most important informal economic sector.
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