Bangladesh: 45 trade unions registered since January 2013

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Bangladesh government is taking seriously its commitment to create a better environment for labor. Since January this year, as many as 45 trade unions have been registered and more are in the pipeline.

The Labor and Manpower Secretary, Mikail Shipar said the government is working out ways to protect trade union leaders from being sacked by factory owners. He said an inter-ministerial meeting held on August 5 with the Commerce Minister requested the leaders of apparel manufacturers and exporters to ensure that union leaders were not fired.

Factory owners were also asked to reinstate the sacked union leaders in their jobs. Shipar said an embargo on registration of two rights organizations – Bangladesh Centre for Women Solidarity and Social Activists for the Environment – had been withdrawn.

Drives of law-enforcing agencies were on to arrest the killers of worker leader Aminul Islam. The Dhaka district Deputy Commissioner had been given the task to withdraw cases against unionists Kalpana Akter and Babul Akhter as per a decision of the government, he added.

The Secretary said a Cabinet committee meeting on the garment industry discussed progress of the government programs undertaken for getting restored the GSP (Generalised System of Preferences) facility for Bangladeshi items in the US market. The Secretary said a standing committee had been formed with the Commerce Secretary as its head to hasten the activities of the Cabinet committee on GSP restoration.

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