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  • Last Update : 08:00 pm

Cabinet okays EPZ labour law

  • Published at 10:38 pm December 3rd, 2018
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Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina presides over a cabinet meeting at prime minister's office PID

The draft would now directly sent to President Abdul Hamid for its promulgation as an ordinance

The incumbent cabinet on Monday held its last weekly meeting with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair, approving a draft law allowing trade union activities in Export Processing Zones (EPZs) units.

“The law has been framed in consistence with the newly enacted Bangladesh Labour Law,” cabinet secretary Md Shafiul Alam said while briefing reporters at the Bangladesh Secretariat after the 202nd cabinet meeting of the current government, reports BSS.

He said the draft would now directly sent to President Abdul Hamid forye its promulgation as an ordinance, which subsequently was expected to be enacted as EPZ Labour Act 2018 with endorsement of the next parliament.

Alam said the proposed law requires labour organizations to have two-thirds support to enforce a work stoppage line under the provisions of the new Labour Law, which previously demanded three fourths of workers support for such actions.

Alam said the law would equip EPZ workers with rights to enforce work stoppage and factory lock-out while it also accommodated some International Labour Organization(ILO) recommendations, and some observations of Canada and the United States to make it more labour-friendly. 

He said the existing regulations so far required an EPZ labour organization to have at least 30% of workers to be its member while the proposed law set the threshold to be 20% to make the units more favourable for workers.

The labour organizations, he said, could frame their constitutions as Sramik Kalyan Samity keeping it consistent to the Bangladesh Labour Law.

The cabinet secretary said if a worker wants to resign on completion of 25 years of service, he would get service benefit of 45 days for every working year instead of existing provision of 30 days.

The proposed law, he said, authorized Department of Inspection for Factories and Establishments to inspect the EPZ factories alongside the BEPZA authority.

The law proposed formation of Sramik Kalyan Samity Federation and deleted the provision of referendum before formation of a labour organization and bar on formation of a labour organization within three months of a newly established industry.

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