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They heard complaints of physical assault, verbal abuse, forced overtime, unsanitary conditions, denial of paid maternity leave, and failure to pay wages and bonuses on time or in full. Western companies often insist on high standards in contracts with Bangladesh-based producers but are not always successful in monitoring the situation on the ground, observers say.
One persistent problem has been the sub-contracting of orders by local manufacturers. Human Rights Watch said it had contacted all those western manufacturers that use factories where the group believes there are problems.
Two denied any link, eight said they were investigating the claims and 13 had not replied. Following the Rana Plaza tragedy, retailers set up two consortia: The two organisations cover more than 2, factories. The government also made legal changes that have helped increase the number of unions. There are now more than — three times more than in However, the report says, many workers who try to form unions to address such abuses face threats, intimidation, dismissal, and sometimes physical assault by factory managers or hired thugs.
Since the collapse, several initiatives have focused on improving factory safety. But researchers, retail alliances and human rights groups said more work needs to be done. Bangladesh is the second largest clothing manufacturer in the world, second only to China. The garment industry in Bangladesh was fraught with problems when the building collapse happened. Fires often broke out at factories, and workers complained about not getting paid, said James Moriarty, former U.
But Rana Plaza definitely was the catalyst to make it happen when it did. Workers conduct a safety assessment at an Adorn Knitwear garment factory in Dhaka, Bangladesh, on Dec.
In the weeks following the disaster, two coalitions representing major retailers joined forces and committed to making factories that supply them safer. The other was the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh, signed by mainly European companies and trade unions.
The companies also provided loans to the factories for upgrades or offered to extend their contracts to entice factory owners to make safety changes. A building safety assessment took place at an Adorn Knitwear garment factory in Dhaka, Bangladesh, on Dec. Since the collapse, inspections at 1, garment factories under the Accord revealed more than , safety problems, including electrical and structural integrity issues and a lack of safe fire exits, Oldenziel said.
So far, 85 percent of those issues have been resolved. Inspectors ordered the temporary evacuation of 50 factories because of serious structural concerns, he added.
As for the U. Another factories that did not cooperate had their contracts terminated, which also meant they could not work with any of the brands who were in the Accord, Oldenziel said. After 18 months, if the factories made required improvements, they became eligible to re-qualify for contracts. Babylon Group is a factory that has completed the Alliance remediation process and is fully compliant with their standards.
Both organizations have started programs to train workers, security guards and safety committees to conduct on-site monitoring. The groups also have set up hour helplines for workers to report inappropriate practices. Though the focus is on factory safety, the helplines also help address other worker complaints, such as quality of food or bathrooms, and violence in the workplace, Oldenziel said. Most garment factory workers are women. In the last five years, safety has improved at the larger factories that have direct relationships with Western retailers and are under the supervision of two initiatives, Barrett said.
But workers at the smaller factories that have domestic contracts and those that are subcontracted — in other words, get the overflow work from other factories — are still in peril, he said. Those factories are under the responsibility of the Bangladeshi government, which has not done as thorough a job of inspecting or pushing for remediation, Barrett said. In the wake of Rana Plaza, the Bangladeshi government merged its fire safety and building assessment efforts , but it still has hundreds of factories to inspect.
It would be similar to efforts in Detroit, where local businesses, governments and philanthropies joined forces and raised millions of dollars to improve the city , Barrett said. The participation of many companies, the Bangladesh government and other international organizations like the World Bank would mean that no one entity would bear the cost burden alone, he said.
A young woman works at a garment factory in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The legal age for someone to hold a full-time job in Bangladesh is 18, but some part-time work is allowed from the age of Founded: Sep 18, Bangladesh Garments Factory. Every country has various sources of obtaining income to help the economy. For this reason, Bangladesh also has a wide selection of earning revenue. Garment factory is one of them. The garment industry is considered a great source of earning for the people of Bangladesh. The factory is owned by textiles manufacturer Multifabs, which makes clothing for mostly European brands according to its website. Bangladesh has more than 4, garment factories employing four.