Fairerose Afrin


Someone out there in the blue threw me some questions. I am delightedsomeone out there really pondering on these in Bangladesh.

Well here is my words’ regarding the above. Hope it touches you and makessense:

Is social compliance is the same as corporate social responsibility?

This questions no doubt by wording of it is interrelated and it undoubtedlyis the obligation and the actions of the same. If we excerpt the definition byEU it reads

Result of conformance to the rules of social accountability by theextended organization including not only the organization’s own policies andpractices but also those of its supply and distribution chains. It is a continuingprocess in which the involved parties keep on looking for better ways toprotect the health, safety, and fundamental rights of their employees, and toprotect and enhance the community and environment in which they operate.

Well a hefty lot of words just to define social compliances. In context ofBangladesh these practices is somewhat paper works to gain clearance forobtaining the “go ahead” for sales and marketing needs.

However if we tear the above definition we would better understand why ithas become a sales and marketing obligation. In our corporate cultures companyrules and policies are not IN PRACTICE in most of the cases by the organizationitself. And regarding the supply and distribution chain we can easily presumethe situation.

On my sense it is more important to discuss what SOCIAL compliances widthand breadth is than talk about more why it is not on PRACTICE in our rapidlygrowing industrialization. Is it only because lesser regulatory control of theAdministration or the careless importers of our export product. However, theearlier cause is more to blame than the later one because the socialcompliances of the societies own responsibility rather than the importers.

As we can presume to meet the social compliances industry should be engagedon ensuring corporate social responsibility. Unfortunately in my view in our corporatesocial responsibility pathetically gain the name of “Corporate socialCHARITY”, even if company does take some actions to ensure health andsafety of their employees at workplace; it viewed or in some sense projected ascharity. The worker and employer relationship and the in most of the cases itlooks like the employer doing something charitable rather fulfilling theirlegitimated obligation.

I think the present screen shot that i represented is not too harsh. Thereare really some company who ensure social compliances to fill up theircorporate obligation not doing charity for its employee. Such as, um…… um…can’t remember the name, sorry!

Q2. Is lean Manufacturing possible in Bangladesh?

Lean manufacturing in today’s world is definitely possible in Bangladesh dueto the trend of shifting nature of the industrialization. Also it’s provenbusiness wise. The best example to this is to refer to “Ready-madeGarments Industry”. In context of our country this industry has achieved similarto that of Toyotism; the inventor or successful implementer of Leanmanufacturing concept.

If we refer to wikidefinition of lean manufacturing and production management theoryBangladesh being a south Asian economy of 150 million population its once againnot only a success but is the most attractive choices for investor’s.

The Global shift on manufacturing and production system [the cost savingscheme of lean manufacturing] has entirely shifted from west to east. I believeso because the second principal of Lean manufacturing is a blend on human andmachine to achieve mass production and achieve the ultimate goal. So the cheap& huge workforce is basically would have jeopardize if we shift themanagement process more towards automation than that of a perfect mixed ofboth, which is Bangladesh.

If we look more closely to the system Bangladesh stands in a more vantagepoint that of India and China. There are some production optimization whichcould only be achieved in Bangladesh like sourcing of raw materials inland forsome industries like garments industry. Although most business owners keep thisas of their secret. However, which is also favourable for sustainability inlonger time span. However the Ramped part of the production optimization hasvery low chances of success due to some social problem like illiteracy and badgovernance.

3. Can Trade Union activity be helpful in Bangladesh?

Yes, obviously. No never absolutely not, never in 1000 years. Both ofearlier two statements are true for the above question. It depends which sideyou are on or which side is he questioners is from.

In general being more on the production side and being an economy of workingclass trade union is a must but that should be of a new kind. The Traditionaltrade union concepts that put off the investor or buyers, rather a trade union ofwhich criteria are defined by the investors or buyer should be established.

All of us want to ensure and do our bit properly. So on the first questionwhere social compliance were concern, trade union to ensure social compliancein our country is more desired than that of mid 1900s. So how the 21st centurytrade union looks like?

In my opinion 21st century trade union is more to be a necessary than one ofthe few options to ensure pay rise or issues like this. When the industry inhaving fake trade unions to get rid of the TROUBLEMAKER , while a true Unioncan reflect the honest concern for the employees and employer can breathe wellat the same time.

The Constructive and honest approach to introduce Trade Union is definitelya healthy choice for a working class society. The above two topics that wediscussed is closely knitted to establish and practice true sense of tradeunionism. To exemplify we could look at china. Trade unionism given them socialcompliance and success through lean manufacturing, in Bangladesh we lookforward to the same.

Please send your comments and feel free.

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