The number of labour courts needs to be increased institutionally across the country for the safety of workers, said the labour rights activists of Sramik Nirapotta Forum (SNF).
The labor rights forum has made seven recommendations, including demanding an increase in the number of labor courts, conducting regular full-time labour court activities in each divisional city, and ensuring that workers receive adequate compensation. The recommendations were made at a discus sion meeting titled, ‘9 years of Rana Plaza tragedy: Needful to ensure adequate compensation for workers’ held on Tuesday at the Tofazzal Hossain Manik Mia Hall of the National Press Club on Tuesday.
The other recommendations of the forum include, ratification of ILO Conventions 102 and 121, amendment of the 5th schedule and chapter 12 of the Bangladesh Labor Act, and addition of an alternative dispute resolution act in the judicial process to eliminate the delay and ensure speedy disposal of cases.
It was further said at the meeting that lawyers need to play a more active role in handling workers' cases and providing legal assistance to laborers.
The speakers at the discussion meeting said that trade unions must work together to ensure workers’ rights, help raise legal awareness among them and play a stronger role in amending labor laws.
President of the Socialist Workers Front Rajekuzzaman Ratan said, “The labor law needs to be re-examined. The existing law is not appropriate for workers’ compensation. Our labor law is so complex that no simple explanation can be given. Laws such as sections 23, 26 and 27 which provide for the punishment of workers are considered appropriate. However, employers do not obey laws that favor workers' interests, including overtime.”
Kamrul Hasan, leader of Sramik Karmachari Oikko Parishad, said “Factory owners in our country are very indifferent to the safety of workers as their main purpose is to make a profit.”
Dr Hamida Hossain, convener of the Sramik Nirapotta Forum presided over the meeting.
Bangladesh Institute of Labor Studies (BILS) Joint Secretary General Wajedul Islam Khan, and Bangladesh Labor Foundation Executive Director AKM Ashraf were present as discussants during this time.