CC News: Visiting US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman opined that the working environment of Bangladesh in RMG factories have improved but still more steps are needed to regain GSP.
Wendy Sherman made the comment while addressing a joint press conference after concluding the fourth partnership dialogue between Bangladesh-US at Meghna, the state guest house in the capital, at noon.
Sherman said, “A lot of progress has been made on that front in the last two years: the government has registered more than 250 new unions, created a public online database of factories, and begun training over 100 new labor inspectors, among many other accomplishments.”
Union organizers and leaders’ work is important to ensuring the sustainability of Bangladesh’s garment sector, so we hope that industry and government can work together to end these tactics of intimidation, the US diplomat added.
She also said, “Through our own experience in labor relations, we’ve learned that empowered workers are a force for good, which is why we’re supporting factory and community organizing efforts with a new $5 million program. We also look forward to working with the Ministry of Labor to develop a mechanism to deal with unfair labor practices in a just and timely manner.”
Sherman further said, “The United States is Bangladesh’s largest single-country importer of garments. But our business ties go beyond just clothing. Companies such as Chevron and Coca-Cola are among the many U.S. businesses looking to invest in Bangladesh.”
Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Nisha Desai Biswal and Bangladesh foreign secretary Shahidul Haque were also present at the press conference.