Bangladesh trade unions legalized

This video from the USA says about itself:

Apr 26, 2013

On April 25, 2013 Bangladesh garment workers who are fighting for justice and against the deadly health and safety conditions of workers in Bangladesh protested at the San Francisco world headquarters of the Gap corporation. Since 2006, more than 600 Bangladeshi garment workers have died in preventable fires while sewing clothing for companies like Gap and Walmart. 112 workers died in a recent fire at a Walmart supplier and 29 workers died at a Gap supplier, but Gap and Walmart are still refusing to pay for reforms and join with other companies in a binding fire safety agreement that includes independent inspections and worker representation.

At the rally at noon, Bangladeshi factory fire survivor Sumi Abedin and Bangladesh garment worker organizer Kalpona Akter of the Bangladesh Center for Worker Solidarity- BCWS spoke and protested with bay area activists for global worker safety. There was also a reading of the workers names who died in recent factory accidents.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Workers get right to form trade unions

Monday 13 May 2013

by Our Foreign Desk

Bangladesh’s government agreed today to allow garment workers to form trade unions without prior permission from factory owners.

The cabinet decision came a day after the government announced a plan to raise the workers’ minimum wage.

Government spokesman Mosharraf Hossain Bhuiyan said that the cabinet had approved an amendment to the 2006 Labour Act lifting restrictions on forming trade unions in most industries.

The old law required workers to obtain permission before they could organise in unions.

“The government is doing it for the welfare of the workers,” Mr Bhuiyan claimed.

But it is likely part of a desperate effort to placate international public opinion, which has been outraged by the frequent catastrophes hitting garment workers, and to protect the clothing industry from a resulting backlash.

Local and international trade unions have long campaigned for such changes.

Though the 2006 law allowed unions, garment factory owners never gave permission for them, claiming they would lead to lack of discipline among workers.

On Sunday, Textiles Minister Abdul Latif Siddiky announced a new minimum wage board to issue pay recommendations within three months.

It will include government, factory and workers’ representatives.

Bangladesh’s 3.6 million garment workers are paid some of the lowest wages in the world to sew for global retailers in the country’s 5,000 factories.

Working conditions in the £13 billion industry are grim – a result of corruption and greed.

Garment workers’ minimum wages were raised by 80 per cent to £25 a month following protests in 2010.

Since 2005 at least 1,800 garment workers have been killed in factory fires and building collapses in Bangladesh, according to the International Labour Rights Forum.

The Textiles Ministry has begun a series of factory inspections and has ordered about 22 closed temporarily for violating safety and working standards.

Rescue workers said today that they were ending their search after 1,127 bodies were recovered from the ruins of Rana Plaza.

Anger mounts as death toll exceeds 1,100 in Bangladesh building collapse: here.

Police shot guns, fired tear gas and used batons to break up a protest by survivors of the April 24 Rana Plaza building collapse: here.

3 thoughts on “Bangladesh trade unions legalized

  1. Fire factory owner ordered to stay put

    BANGLADESH: High court judges told officials to stop the owner of a garment factory where 112 people died in a fire from leaving the country.

    It follows a petition seeking the arrest of Tazreen Fashions owner Delwar Hossain.

    Authorities have been told to bring him before the court on May 30, though no criminal charges have yet been brought against Mr Hossain despite an inquiry accusing him of negligence.


  2. Pingback: Bangladeshi workers intimidated by bosses | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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