Bangladesh garment unions resolve to intensify organizing together

31.10.2016

During a workshop in Dhaka, IndustriALL affiliates in Bangladesh committed to organize more workers along the supply chain in the readymade garments sector.

On 23 – 24 October, Bangladeshi garment unions participated in a workshop in Dhaka, supported by the Fredrick Ebert Stiftung to discuss organizing strategies in their sector’s supply chain.

Christina Hajagos-Clausen, IndustriALL textile and garment director said that:

Strategic organizing, including identifying winnable targets, is crucial, given the power of multinational corporations and the nature of employment in the sector.

The workshop witnessed frank deliberations on how multinational corporations  (MNCs) and major garment brands in supply chains effect organizing workers in the sector.

Union organizers discussed that brands need to be held accountable for workers’ welfare. Their presence in the supply chains can be traced by using IndustriALL’s Global Framework Agreements (GFAs) and information publicly disclosed by the brands.

Affiliates decided to make use of international instruments like the ILO conventions, OECD guidelines, IndustriALL’s GFAs and the Bangladesh Accord for organizing workers and to protect workers’ rights in the RMG sector.

Apoorva Kaiwar, IndustriALL South Asia regional secretary stressed the importance of affiliates working together in a cooperative, non-competitive manner to improve unionization among Bangladesh’s four million workers.

A discussion was held on organizing strategies and affiliates debated and analyzed strengths, weaknesses and external opportunities and threats. Unions prepared action plans and resolved to organize more workers.

The chairperson and general secretary of IndustriALL Bangladesh Council stressed that

IndustriALL’s effort to support Bangladesh affiliates’ organizing initiatives will go long way in improving workers’ lives.