19 Sep 2023, 17:57

Tannery workers raise 14 demands including wage board, job security

DHAKA, Sept 19, 2023 (BSS) - Tannery Workers Union (TWU), an association of tannery workers, today urged the authorities concerned to fulfill their 14-point demand, including ensuring job security and social justice and formulation of minimum wage board for them.

TWU president Abul Kalam Azad raised the demands at a coordination meeting organized by the Tannery Workers Union and Solidarity Center at a city hotel this afternoon. The tannery industry's stakeholders took part in it.

"The other demands also include: actual implementation of applicable national laws and regulations maintaining international standards, establishment of legal and social justice through the practice of industrial democracy, skills-based human resource management, ensuring a neat, hygienic and safe work environment, implementation of labor welfare facilities and strengthening of non-discrimination mechanism at workplace," he told the meeting.

Labour experts, representatives of Ministry of Labour, Directorate of Factory and Establishment Inspection, Bangladesh Tanners Association, Labor Court Bar Association, representatives of Bangladesh Labour Rights Journalists Forum (BLRJF), Asia Foundation, GIZ Bangladesh, Solider Swiss Bangladesh, Oshi Foundation and Bangladesh Institute of Labor Studies were present there.


TWU general secretary Abdul Malek said, "To achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030 with the target of 10 billion US dollars export income from the leather industry, the second largest export-earning industry, owners and tannery workers must work together."

The labour union leaders requested the authorities concerned to set-up a 50-bed hospital for tannery workers and others concerned, ensure social compliance including full implementation of maternity welfare facilities, full implementation of waste management and CETP to build an eco-friendly and modern leather city, and move towards achieving the Leather Working Group (LWG) certificate.

They called for implementing a wage board for the tannery workers by 2024 in line with the minimum wage structure announced by the government in every factory and stop terminating the skilled and experienced workers in the interest of the leather industry.

Bangladesh leather industry is ranked second in terms of export earnings, where over five lakh workers work in about 206 tanneries countrywide. Because of its high value addition, huge growth and employment opportunities, leather sector has already been declared a top priority sector.

Bangladesh accounts for 3 percent share in the global leather and products market. The GDP growth at over 5 percent over the last decade shows the strength of the economy and its resilience, according to an official report.

In the coordination meeting of the stakeholders, Joint Secretary of the Ministry of Labor and Employment Mosammat Hajera Khatun and Trade Union Kendra General Secretary Dr Wajedul Islam Khan were present as the special guest.

Among others, Deputy Country Program Director of Solidarity Center Bangladesh Monica Hartsell, Program Country Director of Solidarity Center AKM Nasim, President of Bangladesh Labour Rights Journalists Forum (BLRJF) Kazi Abdul Hannan and BLRJF General Secretary Ataur Rahman, also spoke on the occasion.



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