Ensure maternity leave for tannery workers
Female tannery workers should have access to maternity leaves and other necessary health services to ensure safe childbirth, said speakers at a workshop yesterday.
They made the comments at "Strengthening Labour Inspection and Maternity Coverage", organised jointly by OSHE Foundation and Solidar Suisse, with funds from the European Union.
The event was held at The Daily Star Centre in the capital.
"Maternity leave is every mother's fundamental right, and leather workers are no different. Transformative change is required when it comes to addressing the health requirements of female workers, especially those who are expecting," said AR Chowdhury Repon, executive director of OSHE Foundation.
Tannery industry is one of the 43 hazardous work sectors as its workers are continuously exposed to chemicals, mentioned SM Anamul Haque, director of the labour department.
Maternity leave is every mother's fundamental right, and leather workers are no different. Transformative change is required when it comes to addressing the health requirements of female workers, especially those who are expecting.
"Inhaling such harmful chemicals can affect both the mother and the unborn baby,' he said.
"Most factory owners are afraid of hiring young workers because they are afraid to give them maternity leaves. Thus, they prefer older women to do the job," he added.
The ratio of female workers is comparatively lower than that of male workers in this sector, as most factory owners fear that production efficiency will be hampered by allowing maternity leave for their workers, noted the speakers.
They also stressed the importance of having a healthy working environment and assuring minimum wages for workers.
A project to safeguard the leather workers was also revealed at the event.
The three-year long initiative aims to cover 6,540 individuals, including workers, employees, trade union activists, women workers activists, OSHE committee members, trade union leaders, and CSO members, as well as 20 other groups.
Officials from Tannery Workers Union, Gonoshasthaya Kendra, Omnifarious Inc, and GoTan were also present at the event.