BANGLADESH: TEN CENTS MORE PER GARMENT WILL ENSURE FACTORY SAFETY, SAYS US LABOUR GROUPDecember 1st, 2012
BY POORNA RODRIGO
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The executive director of US based labour-rights group the Worker Rights Consortium (WRC) has told just-style that clothing manufacturers and their buyers in Bangladesh have a “moral obligation” to spend an extra 10 cents to make each garment, to boost factory safety.
His comments follow the release of a detailed WRC study on Bangladesh factory safety, inspired a devastating factory fire killed 111 workers last month.
“With roughly seven billion garments exported from Bangladesh each year an additional ten cents per garment would yield USD700 million per annum,” said WRC executive director Scott Nova.
He claimed the total amount required for building renovation, safety equipment installation, and related costs to make Bangladesh factories safe would be USD3 billion, which he suggested could be spread over five years at USD600 million annually.
And it could be less. Nova agreed the USD3 billion figure was a “high estimate” assuming all factory buildings would need major renovations, when they might not.
Nova urged buyers to compare the cost in the context of the size of apparel sourcing from Bangladesh by US and European companies: “Bangladesh will export over USD100 billion worth of apparel over the next five years to Western brands and retailers.”
Therefore “three billion dollars is thus a small fraction of the money major brands and retailers will be pouring into Bangladesh to procure cheap garments,” Nova added.