07/04/2014 EURO-MP Jean Lambert has welcomed progress being made on workers’ rights in the Ready-Made Garment sector in Bangladesh, almost a year after the collapse of the Rana Plaza factory killed more than 1,000 people.
Speaking at a conference on workers’ rights in the ready-made garment industry organised with aid charity Care International last week, the London Green MEP said good progress was being made on the appointment of factory inspectors, inspection of buildings and changes to Bangladesh’s employment law.
Ms Lambert, who is also the Chair of the European Parliament’s Delegation to Bangladesh, said she was pleased that over 100 unions have been formed in the garment sector in the last year.
But she said there were still problems making sure all victims of the factory collapse and the earlier Tasreen factory fire received compensation – as not all companies selling the clothes made at Rana Plaza have paid into a compensation fund agreed last year.
“There remain problems – not just in relation to compensation, but also in terms of what happens to workers and their jobs if a factory is found to be unsafe and forced to close,” she said.
“But the willingness is there from many stakeholders to make progress and better the living conditions and wages of the workers.
“The European Parliament will be watching to ensure that progress is maintained and that workers – many of whom are women – will be able to make a decent living in safe conditions.”