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Dhaka Tribune

Law Minister: US keen to work as partner in lowering trade union threshold

  • Anisul Huq explains conditions for lowered threshold
  • Bangladesh, US discuss labour amendment bill
Update : 21 Jan 2024, 07:05 PM

Law Minister Anisul Huq has said the United States wants to work with Bangladesh as a partner in lowering the trade union threshold in the labour sector.

"The US is very conscious about workers' rights, and it is a very important issue to them. It is also a matter of great importance to the Bangladesh government and the government of the Awami League. It is so important that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is at the helm of the Ministry of Labour and Employment," Anisul said on Sunday.

The law minister was briefing journalists after coming out of his meeting with US Embassy Labour Attaché Leena Khan and First Secretary (Political) Matthew Beh at his Secretariat office.

"We discussed labour rights with the labour attaché of the US embassy. This discussion has been going on with them since last year. We discussed the progress and the possibilities of further progress. Today we discussed the labour amendment bill, which was sent by the president back to parliament," the law minister added.

The law minister said he will hold a meeting with a delegation from the Ministry of Labour and Employment on Wednesday. “The meeting of the ILO governing body will be held in March and they have already inquired about a couple of things from us to learn about our progress in the sector. We will inform them of those matters after this meeting,” he added.

While replying to a question on the trade union threshold, the law minister said the US has always had their say on this matter, adding: "We said we have lowered this to 15%. There was a condition that this would only be applicable in factories where the total number of workers is 3,000 or more. We can have a discussion on this matter."

"They said such factories are very few, where 3,000 or more work. In reply I said we can make a decision after discussing the matter with the stakeholders," he added.

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