ILO for quick actions
The International Labour Organisation (ILO) has assured Bangladesh of providing full support to the victims of the Savar building collapse as it called for immediate action to stop recurrence of avoidable workplace tragedies.
Gilbert Houngbo, the UN agency's deputy director-general for field operations, who is leading a high-level mission to Bangladesh, gave the assurance during a meeting with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in Dhaka on Wednesday, said her Press Secretary Abul Kalam Azad.
Houngbo, former prime minister of Togo, handed over to Hasina a letter of condolence from ILO Director-General Guy Ryder.
The UN agency expressed deep sorrow at the horrific deaths and injuries caused by the collapse and offered sympathy to the bereaved families.
During the meeting, Houngbo appreciated Bangladesh's rescue efforts, which pulled out over 2,500 people alive from under the rubble, said Azad.
The press secretary quoted Hasina as saying those responsible for the loss of lives were facing justice.
Hasina told Houngbo that soon after the building caved in, the government took measures to rescue the victims, provide them with proper medical care and rehabilitate them.
The ILO sent the mission to offer its support and expedite action by all parties in the aftermath of the collapse of Rana Plaza.
Although details of the letter could not be known, Guy Ryder had earlier said he was writing to Hasina, urging immediate action to prevent a recurrence of entirely avoidable workplace tragedies.
“Horror and regret must translate into urgent, firm action,” Ryder noted, according to the agency's website.
“Action now can prevent further tragedy. Inaction would mean that the next tragedy is simply a matter of time.
“The ILO urges the government of Bangladesh and its employers and trade unions to make use of its support and ensure that the Rana Plaza tragedy is the last of its kind.”
Houngbo earlier said a comprehensive programme must include: dealing with unsound factories, including through relocation and infrastructure improvement; establishing credible labour inspection; political commitment to enforcement of laws and regulations; encouragement of social dialogue on safety and health; and the adoption of labour legislation guaranteeing, among other things, rights of organisations and collective bargaining in line with ILO standards.
Houngbo also met the heads of the UN organisations in Bangladesh, the EU delegation here and a number of embassies, including that of Canada.
He would sit with workers and employers' organisations today, an official of ILO in Dhaka said yesterday.