Published: Sunday, May 5, 2013

WORKPLACE SAFETY

EU threatens of trade status suspension

Urges immediate action by govt

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European Union Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht has called for “immediate” action by the Bangladesh government to improve health and safety conditions in the nation’s garment industry after a factory collapse last month killed more than 500 people.

The government of Bangladesh must “change something,” De Gucht said on Sunday on RTBF radio.

“Otherwise I am ready to launch an investigation, which may lead to the suspension” of Bangladesh’s trade status with the EU, he said.

“If the result of this is that the price of T-shirts and jeans increases a bit, well that’s the way it is,” De Gucht said.

“These people have the right to work in acceptable conditions, and we have a duty to push for that.”

De Gucht said he intends to discuss with EU and US buyers of Bangladesh products the development of a “code of conduct” for their supply chains.

Workers in Bangladesh face “totally unacceptable health and safety conditions: this is modern slavery,” De Gucht said.

  • likhon

    Fair move.

  • Faruq Haider

    Support EU on the move.

  • Faisal Zakaria

    When someone such as the Pope refers to ‘slavery’, it is bound to have further impact.

  • Abir Hasan

    EU can’t do anything. EU would have to buy from Bangladesh as long as Bangladesh provides cheaper price. Things (safety of workers etc.) will be changed only when living standard of Bangladesh will be increased in a whole and able to refuse all the greedy buyers of EU and USA to provide cheap price.

  • Iftekhar Hassan

    Greed of most Garment factory owners and greed of Euro-American buyers, means win win situation between two fisted gogetters is never possible from words, however, it is possible, under a trade union contract. Yes foreign buyers WILL pay a little more. Because, it will still be cheaper to buy from Bangladesh.

    Buyers will leave Bangladesh and go to Cambodia or Burma (Myanmar) is nonsense.

  • Masud

    If EU puts sanctions many workers will lose jobs in Bangladesh garments sector. They should investigate and find out what has to be done to improve workers safety. The main problems are, labor unions, fire safety, building safety and better wages. After investigations permanent regulations and surveillance is needed.