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Dhaka Tribune

ILO for upgrading labour court

Update : 20 Oct 2015, 06:46 PM

Visiting International Labour Organisation’s (ILO) Direct Contacts Mission (DCM) has recommended for the upgradation of the existing labour court by modernising, digitalising and increasing the number of the court to ensure quick disposal of cases.

The IMF delegation came up with the recommendation at meeting with the State Minister for Labour and Employment Md Mujibul Haque Chunnu held at his office in the city yesterday.

A team of International Labour Organisation’s Direct Contacts Mission (DCM) led by Karon Moanghan held a meeting with the state minister. The other members of the team are Coen Kompier, Al-Wreidat Amin and Siska Dubbert.

The meeting was organised to inform the delegation about the country’s progress on the ongoing safety assessment that were taken by the Bangladesh, global retailers’ platforms and ILO to ensure workers’ rights and improvement of safety standards.

“The ILO team recommended Bangladesh government to increase number of labour court and to modernise and digitalise its operational system for improving the overall environment of the court,” Mujibul Haque told the Dhaka Tribune.

As the delegation members wanted to know about the trade union activities in Export Processing Zones (EPZ), the minister informed them that EPZs were run by a special act under which there was a contract with the foreign investors for not allowing trade unionism in those factories.

“But, we’ve allowed Workers Welfare Association (WWA) to ensure workers’ rights in EPZs,’’ said the minister.

The team also urged the government to increase the number of punishments for violating labour rules.

In this regard, the minister replied: “It is being done as per the laws of the land, which cannot be changedonly for one especial sector.”

Currently, a factory has topay Tk25,000, if it fails to comply all the compliance issues. The penalty was Tk5000, which has been raised recently in the new law.

“After being informed about the progress, the delegation members stated that lots of works have been done in the field of safety security and trade union but still it needs to be continued further,” said Mujibul.

The safety and worker’s rights issues came under spotlight after the Rana Plaza factory collapse that killed over 1,135 workers and injured over 2,500 people on April 24, 2013

Senior Secretary of Labour and Employment Ministry Mikail Shipar and Syed Ahmed, Inspector General of Department of Inspection for Factories and Establishments were present at the meeting.

The ILO delegation arrived in Dhaka on October 17 to see the improvement of working conditions and labour rights issue in the RMG sector. The delegation held meetings with the stakeholders including the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) and union leaders. 

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