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16 Apr 2023

Dhaka Tribune

Bangladesh: Unions call for government to amend labour laws to ensure decent working conditions in garment factories

"Experts for swift implementation of labour laws", 16 April 2023

Speakers at a program on Sunday urged the government to take necessary steps to implement labour laws properly in the country, strengthen monitoring and safety measures in factories for ensuring decent work for workers, and announce minimum wages for workers keeping balance with other countries to achieve sustainable development goals (SDGs) by 2030.

They also underscored the need for bringing workers under social safety net, training for workers for technological skill development, and remove all barriers to do trade unions in industries.

They made the remarks at a roundtable titled “Ten years of Rana Plaza Tragedy: Present Situation of Garments Workers and Way Forward” at Hotel Bengal Blueberry in the capital.

The roundtable was organized by Bangladesh Textile & Garment Workers League (BTGWL), United Federation of Garments Workers (UFGW), Bangladesh Revolutionary Garments Workers Federation (BRGWF), Bangladesh Garments and Industrial Workers Federation (BGIWF), and National Garment Workers Federation (NGWF)...

Director of Bangladesh Institute of Labour Studies Nazma Yesmin said there is no alternative way of improving living standard of workers in Bangladesh to achieve SDGs by 2030.

“In the next amended labour laws, the government should lay emphasis the issues of rehabilitation of workers, health, and decent work. The labour laws should be workers friendly,” she also said.

RSC-RGM Sustainable Council representative Sefat Ahmed said they visited 10,000 garment factories, and trained up 2 million workers on safety issues in the last three years.

“We are now working 1822 factories garment factories. However, 511 factories have succeeded tremendous on safety issues. We are supporting technical and consultation issue,” he also said.

...chairman of the parliamentary standing committee on Labour and Employment Ministry Mujibul Haque Chunnu said: “Once people did not think about safety issue. The Rana Plaza collapse taught us. We have to work together to ensure safety, and decent work place in all industries of the country.”

He also called upon international buyers to increase the prices of Bangladeshi products to ensure safety in work places in the country.