Published:  12:00 AM, 09 January 2017

Liberty Fashion Wears demands reopening and compensation

Liberty Fashion demanded to reopen its factory and compensation for closed factory and its workers. The owner of Liberty Fashion Wears Ltd claimed the factory faces losses of Tk 600 crore for the "unethical and irrational" closer of production by the buyers forum Accord, while ILO were recommended  this factory is rated as GREEN factory. "The buyers are responsible for forcibly closed the production of the factory violating all ethics," alleged Mozammel Huq, chairman and managing director of Liberty Fashion at a press conference at the national press club in the capital on Sunday.

"They (the buyers) were declared its as non compliance factory on the ground of having inadequate fire safety arrangements by the buyers forum Accord, while its also certified as safe after inspection of ILO, BUET and BGMEA", he said. Mozammel Huq said, The Midway Consultancy Services (MCS), (a nominated firm of  Accord) report  said the building would collapse within 60 hours, but it still stands on its foundation, while the factory have no change by the last 40 months. Liberty Fashion chairman requested the Tesco chairman to consider the matter with importance as there are 5,000 workers' living is involved.

According to the written speech of Liberty Fashion chairman, the buyer even did not follow the existing rules of Bangladesh government and the guidelines of safety accord. He said, after Rana Plaza incidence in April, the Tesco had appointed the engineering firm MCS to assess the structural design of the building. Liberty Fashion owner said they made a report on visual observation and assumption, identifying the building with "Red" mark as the building unsafe for workers and recommended BGMEA, ILO, Labor Ministry, RAJUK and the Department of Fire Service and Civil Defense shut down the factory. Then, the production eventually became suspended. Following the MCS report, the BGMEA appoint experts from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET). Liberty Fashion chairman sited BGMEA inspection report at the press conference, "As per visual engineering judgment, the Liberty Fashion building is safe for operating garment activities."

Another report by the BUET experts said, "From the visual inspection, no sign of disaster was observed in any of the structures of the building."  He also placed from ILO inspection report "No critical or high risk observations were found during the day of assessment in the factory. During the assessment, some non-conformity was found for which long term corrective actions are recommended. Considering the overall situation, the factory is rated as GREEN. There is no need to suspend operations in any of the buildings covered in this report".  According to the the Accord on Fire and Building Safety statement on Liberty Fashion Wears Ltd issue, "We are inspecting factories covered by The Accord in order to identify safety and fire hazards that pose immediate risks to workers."

The statement also said, "At Liberty Fashion Wears Ltd, Tesco, Debenhams, Primark and Li &Fung reacted following a structural inspection of the factory and found that Unit 2 (the main sewing unit) was in danger of collapse and workers were in grave danger." "Many of workers are jobless today," he added.

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