IndustriALL Bangladesh Council (IBC) has demanded re-announcement of the wage rate for garment workers and making it effective from next December.
Executive member of the council Salauddin Swapan made the demands at a roundtable meeting held at Tofazzal Hossain Manik Mia Hall of the National Press Club on Wednesday.
According to the other demands of the organization, registration must be provided by removing all kinds of direct and indirect barriers, and trade union rights must be ensured in case of trade union registration; labor laws and labor rules have to be amended in accordance with ILO Conventions 87 and 98; all laws, including various sections that are against ILO Convention and were added in the past should be repealed; government-initiated housing arrangements for workers should be made near the areas of all garment industries in the country; social safety nets for workers' health and social security must be developed; harassment of workers by laying off, abusing workers and assigning production targets must be stopped; 250-bed hospital for workers should be set up in four major garment industry areas of the country and the industrial police who take sides should be replaced immediately.
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In a written statement, Salauddin Swapan said that garment workers risked their lives to keep the country's economy afloat by keeping the production wheel in motion during the lockdown of Covid-19 pandemic.
“However, owners carried out various irregularities and illegal activities during the pandemic including layoffs, wage cuts, and trade union registration barriers,” he added.
He further said that due to the uncontrolled rise in commodity prices, the workers are living an inhuman life.
“The inaction of the Department of Labor (DOL) and other departments, including the Department of Inspection for Factories and Establishments (DIFE), has encouraged the owners to engage in unethical activities,” he said.
President of IndustriALL Bangladesh Council Mir Abul Kalam Asad, Member Aminul Haque Amin and others were also present at the round table meeting.