Sylhet, Rangpur to get labour courts
The government plans to set up two labour courts in Sylhet and in Rangpur, taking the total number to nine, State Minister for Labour Md Mujibul Haque has said.
Haque spoke to the media after a meeting with a parliamentary delegation of the European Union at the Secretariat in Dhaka on Wednesday. Jean Lambert led the 11-member EU team.
"We are setting up two more labour courts to ensure justice for the workers," Haque said.
The ministry also plans to re-designate the three labour courts, currently in Dhaka, to look after the legal affairs of workers in Narsingdi, Narayanganj and Gazipur.
"It's quite difficult for a worker who lives in Gazipur to come to Dhaka for legal services."
"We struck a deal with investors that trade unions would not be allowed in EPZs. The Workers Welfare Association was set up later. Now, a separate law for EPZ, in line with the international labour law, is underway," said Haque.
"In an extraordinary move, we resent the law to parliament after some modifications."
The EU delegation was briefed on how women in Bangladesh are now more empowered than ever, said the state minister.
"Bangladesh had sent a draft report on its workforce to the International Labour Organisation or ILO. The ILO reviewed it and made observations. We will amend the labour law as per their recommendations."
"Under the present system, consents of 30 percent workers are required for the formation of a trade union at a factory. We are trying to decrease the percentage," he said.
There are 700 trade unions in Bangladesh and a few hundred are in the pipeline, he added. —bdnews24.com