2 November, 2022As the ILO Governing Body meets in Geneva, Bangladesh will be on the agenda. IndustriALL is calling on the government of Bangladesh to make sincere efforts to implement the roadmap requested by the ILO to improve workers’ rights in the country.
In 2019, several workers’ organizations made a complaint under Article 26 on the non-observance of Conventions 81, 87 and 98 by the government of Bangladesh (GoB) to the International Labour Conference. Following the complaint, the ILO Governing Body (GB) requested the GoB to develop a time-bound roadmap of actions with concrete outcomes to address the issues outlined in the complaint.
The latest progress report submitted by the GoB in September highlights the actions undertaken by the government on labour law reform, trade union registration, labour inspection, anti-union discrimination, unfair labour practices and violence against workers.
The progress has been sluggish and in some instances anti-worker. The new labour rules have reduced maternity benefits. Pregnant workers will now receive a 6.5 per cent lower monetary compensation than they did previously.
The report boasts about the helpline service and the online database to track the complaints filed by workers and unions. In reality, however, neither the helpline number nor the online database are properly maintained.
The trade union registration process continues to be cumbersome, both online and offline. In 2022, a total of 26 unions affiliated to IndustriALL’s Bangladeshi affiliates, filed for union registration, out of which only nine were approved. The online database of registered trade unions is poorly maintained and does not reflect the actual number of existing unions.
IndustriALL Global Union calls on the government of Bangladesh:
- to make sincere efforts to implement the Roadmap in full consultation with trade unions, particularly IndustriALL affiliates, through genuine social dialogue
- to consider the demands made by our affiliates in the implementation of the roadmap
- to make sure that the concerns of RMG workers are reflected
“It’s appalling that instead of improving workers’ situation in the country, the new labour rule undermines workers’ rights by cutting down maternity benefits. This will have a huge adverse impact on RMG workers who are mostly women,”
says Apoorva Kaiwar, IndustriALL South Asia regional secretary.
“It is high time that the government of Bangladesh takes serious steps to implement the roadmap and actually work towards improving the situation of workers in the country. We urge the government to consider the demands of our affiliates and other unions while implementing the roadmap. It’s important that workers’ voices are included in this process,”
says Kemal Özkan, IndustriALL assistant general secretary.