In a move at odds with the apparel industry’s push for greater transparency, the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) said it doesn’t want the names of substandard factories published online.
The country’s apparel and textile body said highlighting garment factories that have failed to make adequate progress and improvement in workplace safety would hurt Bangladesh’s image and be bad for business.
BGMEA sent a letter to Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety board member James Moriarty requesting that he refrain from publishing the names online, the Dhaka Tribune reported. The organization is also expected to raise the issue with the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh at a meeting scheduled for the end of the month.
“We have sent letter through e-mail to James F Moriarty, a director of the Alliance, requesting him not to publish on the Alliance website the names of those defaulting RMG factories that failed to do enough in remediation,” BGMEA vice president Mahmud Hasan Khan Babu told the Dhaka Tribune. “We also called for the Alliance to just inform the names of those defaulting factories to their signatory brands through e-mail instead of posting all those names on the website.”
The Alliance, a safety initiative aimed at improving Bangladesh’ readymade garment industry through factory inspections, assessments and remediation plans, has already ceased doing business with 60 factories for not adhering to its compliance requirements. And in February, the Alliance cut ties with three engineering firms for faking inspection reports.
BGMEA is worried that publicly discrediting the factories not only creates problems for the factories doing business with existing and potential buyers, but could lead to them taking the opportunity to ask for reduced prices.
Mesbah Rabin, Alliance managing director, said, “We want to work with transparency and the buyers should know the names of those factories.”