Agreement between government, industry and labor representatives underscores shared commitment to workers’ rights and rule of law
DHAKA, Bangladesh - The Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety (the “Alliance”) welcomes the tripartite agreement reached by the Bangladesh Ministry of Labour and Employment, the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) and the IndustriAll Bangladesh Council (IBC). The agreement comes weeks after numerous labor advocates were detained and interrogated for holding protests in the Ashulia district protesting rent increases and calling for higher minimum wages to support families and cover basic household expenses.
In the agreement, all parties agreed to release detainees, reopen shuttered zonal offices and either pay or reinstate workers who were fired for taking part in protests. The signatories further committed to ensuring sustainable relations among garment factories through peaceful dialogue between owners and workers.
“We are heartened that a constructive agreement has been reached through dialogue, and we now encourage the good faith implementation of that agreement,” said Alliance Country Director Jim Moriarty. “We also call on all parties to resolve any outstanding and future disagreements in a similar manner, at the negotiating table and in accordance with Bangladesh law.”
The Alliance strongly supports the rights of workers to organize, and its Member Agreement formally asserts the rights of workers to refuse work in dangerous conditions. The Alliance consults closely with its Board Labor Committee on all matters related to workers, and by July 2018, Worker Safety Committees—groups of workers trained to monitor on-site occupational safety and health issues—will have been established in a majority of Alliance factories.