Where is the response from the foreign buyers who buy our RMG products?
It is excellent news to learn that the much-awaited employment injury scheme (EIS) was launched in the country’s readymade garment (RMG) sector.
Too often, workers have had to pay a heavy price as a result of workplace accidents and/or occupational diseases, often dropping into poverty as a result of them.
As such, this scheme, jointly launched by the Labour Ministry and the International Labour Organization (ILO), in collaboration with the Netherlands.
Germany (GIZ) will see RMG workers get enhanced social security through income protection which has been a long time coming.
The RMG industry continues to be the most important export industry for Bangladesh, accounting for about four fifths of all export earnings.
And we must never forget that it is on the tireless labour of the workers that it has been able to achieve this.
However, over and over again, we are seeing that Bangladesh is holding up its end, be it bringing sustainable practices to the industry.
Constructing safer buildings and infrastructure, and offering better payments and now social security for the workers.
The question here is this: Where is the response from the foreign buyers who buy our RMG products?
It is indeed very disappointing that, nearly a decade removed from the Rana Plaza disaster.
Since which Bangladesh has made a concerted effort to better its RMG industry across all avenues.
Buyers continue to be reluctant to pay a just and fair price for our RMG products.
This can no longer be the status quo; owners of RMG factories and all relevant stakeholders are investing significant monetary resources for the improvement of this industry.
As such, the onus is now on the buyers to recognize and acknowledge these positive changes, in the form of higher prices that our products do not only deserve, but have earned.
Buyers can no longer be allowed to be hypocritical, expecting higher standards and better working conditions across the industry.
But refusing to hold up their end of the bargain through higher prices.