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Experts want effective trade unions in Bangla RMG sector
Jul '13
Top labour leaders and legal experts of Bangladesh called for an effective workers’ union in the readymade garment (RMG) sector at a round table conference, rejecting the ‘participation committee’ mentioned in the draft amendment to the labour law, as it was not an alternative to trade unions.
The round table conference was organized by Bangladesh’s leading newspaper The Daily Star and Bangladesh Institute of Labour Studies (BILS) for inclusion of effective trade unions in amended labour law to ensure workers’ safety.
Titled ‘Safe Workplace: Recent Experience and Way Forward’, the conference was held at The Daily Star Centre in Bangladesh’s capital Dhaka.
The participation committee mentioned in the draft amendment to the labour law is to be formed with representatives of all stakeholders, including labour leaders and garment workers.
 BILS secretary General Nazrul Islam Khan said at the conference that ensuring workers’ safety is of utmost importance and they must be provided with a platform to raise their voice, and allowed to settle their issues with their employers at factory level, according to The Daily Star report.
Roy Ramesh Chandra, general secretary of the local arm of IndustriALL, a global union federation, said the country’s garment sector has been struck with 56 incidents since 1990, yet no exemplary punishment has been handed out. He insisted that there should be self-governance at the units so that workers get a chance to raise their issues locally and discuss it.
The garment factory owners should follow international labour standards if they expect to do business in the global arena, said the IndustriALL secretary at the conference.
The participants in the conference expressed concern that the amended law due to be passed in the Parliament may not meet the expectations of the country’s garment workers as they struggle to attain a large platform to voice their demands. 

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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