On 27 Jan, Bangladesh garment workers demanded that their government table proposed amendments to the Labour Law in the current session of Parliament and pass it. Otherwise, they announced that they would go to greater struggle.
The garment workers made this announcement from a Token Hunger Strike programme, which was organized by National Garment Workers Federation (NGWF). Held in front of National Press Club, the program was participated by several hundred RMG workers. The programme continued from 12:00 noon to 12:30pm.
Presided over by NGWF President Amirul Haque Amin, it was addressed by Labour Leader Abdul Kader Hawlader - Central Leader of SKOP, Coordinator of Bangladesh Garment Workers Unity Council Salauddin Swapan, President of Jatiya Garment Sramik Karmachary Federation M Delwar Hossain, Textile Garment Workers Federation President Advocate Mahbubur Rahman Ismail, Coordinator of Bangladesh Garment Workers Action Committee Baharane Sultan Bahar, Sammilito Garment Federation President Rafiqul Islam Pathik and NGWF leaders Ms Safia Parvin, Advocate Selim Newaz Chowdhury, Mohammad Faruk Khan Ms Arifa Akter and Jesmin Akter.
Addressing the programme, speakers raised four specific demands:
1) Amendment to Labour Law-2006 should be placed in the current session of Parliament in the form of a “Bill”.
2) The draft of the amendment should be placed in Parliament as it was made as per the opinions of workers’ representatives. There should not be any change or modification in the original draft.
3) The Government has taken initiative to set up Labour Welfare Foundation. This is good. But, the main demand of the workers is amendment to Labour Law-2006. And there should not be any dilly dally tactics regarding this demand.
4) The initiative to promulgate new ordinance to announce any industrial area as “Special Economic Zone ” and thereby forfeiting labour rights like that of the EPZ areas should be stopped.