At least 141 new trade unions were registered in the last 15 months against only three in the last three years, according to data from the International Labour Organisation (ILO).
“Registration of over 140 trade unions in the RMG sector in the last 15 months is a staggering growth compared to registration figures for the preceding years,” said Gilbert Fossoun Houngbo, ILO deputy director general.
“The formation and registration of new trade unions is a sign of a new era of collective bargaining and freedom of association in Bangladesh, which can act as a catalyst for change in other industries.”
State Minister for Labour and Employment Mujibul Haque Chunnu asked the trade union leaders to help build a good relationship between the workers and garment owners for business-friendly working conditions.
“The leaders should acquire proper knowledge for running the trade unions, otherwise the workers will engage in vandalism and get instigated by the slightest incidents.”
“No worker leader could provide me with a list of the factories that are yet to implement the minimum wage structure,” Chunnu said.
He spoke at an orientation programme on freedom of association for the leaders of the newly registered trade unions of the garment sector, at Ruposhi Bangla Hotel in Dhaka yesterday.
“But at the same time they are complaining to me of non-implementation of minimum wage,” the state minister said at the event organised by the ILO.
If the number of active factories is 4,000 then trade unions should be launched in the remaining 3,460, said Mikail Shipar, labour secretary.
The union leaders should remember that no factory is closed for trade unionism, he said, adding that all workers should also remember that they need to improve productivity in the factories.
Roy Ramesh Chandra, general secretary to the IndustriALL Bangladesh Council, also spoke.