Apparel sector progress too slow in Bangladesh, says EU
Four years have passed since the Rana Plaza disaster in Bangladesh, when more than a thousand factory workers lost their lives as a result of poor health and safety practices, and building maintenance checks. While there has been progress on safety, the apparel sector stands accused of losing momentum in dealing with what has remained a major challenge: worker rights. A recent official EU warning could mean that if Bangladesh does not implement ILO recommendations, that focus on right to association and collective bargaining, the country risks being shut out from the current beneficial tariffs system that it enjoys. This could mean a 12% tariff applied to imports into the EU from Bangladesh, significant, given that the EU accounts for 62% of Bangladesh’s garment exports.