US Congressmen Sander Martin Levin and George Miller have urged the government to improve the conditions of workers in Bangladesh, and said there has been insufficient progress in many areas, including freedom of trade unions.
Levin, ranking member at the committee on ways and means workforce, and Miller, senior democratic member at the committee on education and workforce, sent a letter to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on April 23 outlining specific labour issues that have yet to be addressed by the government.
“We believe it's critical for the government of Bangladesh to take stronger steps to fully implement the Bangladesh Action Plan that was issued as a roadmap for reinstating trade benefits,” the letter read.
They said there has been insufficient progress in issues related to union registration and protection, labour law reform and export processing zones.
The US leaders urged the government to reopen the investigation on labour leader Aminul Islam murder case and ensure that a transparent and independent investigator is appointed.
The investigator should consider all available evidence related to the murder of Aminul Islam, including evidence concerning who planned the crime, they said.
“We look forward to working with the government of Bangladesh to achieve full implementation of the Action Plan and continued and sustained progress with regard to workers' rights, as this will allow us to support the reinstatement of GSP benefits.”