Mozena remark 'provocative'
Textiles and Jute Minister Abdul Latif Siddique yesterday expressed surprise at US Ambassador to Bangladesh Dan W Mozena's recent remarks calling on Bangladesh to allow trade unions in the garment sector.
Bangladesh has to ensure workers' right to association to get generalised system of preferences (GSP) in the US market, Mozena said on Saturday at a public hearing on "Safe environment for garment workers".
"I really wonder whether the comments reportedly made by Ambassador Mozena directly pressurising RMG owners or entrepreneurs of Bangladesh to introduce trade unions match with his diplomatic norms and status," Siddique said in a letter to the ambassador.
"Instead his remarks might be felt as 'obtrusive, hurting and provocative' to the host country government," he said, adding that whether to allow or forbid trade unions is essentially an internal issue of the country.
Bangladesh government is considering permitting labour welfare committees under the collective bargaining agents at RMG factories, and a bill to amend the Labour Act 2006 to this effect is underway, Siddique said.
In the letter, the minister also asked the diplomat as to how many states in the USA allow trade union rights to workers in manufacturing plants.