World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Bangladesh Workplace Safety Accord Underway

International Trade Union Confederation

Bangladesh Workplace Safety Accord Underway, but Government Failing on Workers’ Rights

Brussels, 22 April 2014 (ITUC OnLine): The ITUC is calling for Bangladesh and international clothing brands to stop holding back progress on workers’ rights, as the first anniversary of the Rana Plaza building collapse approaches. 1,134 workers died when the building collapsed on 24 April, with many more injured. That tragedy, as well as the Tazreen factory fire the previous year, shocked the world and led to heavy pressure on international clothing brands and the Bangladesh government to act.

Sharan Burrow, ITUC General Secretary, said “There has been some significant progress towards safer workplaces with the Bangladesh Accord; however, workers still face enormous obstacles and even violence and intimidation when they try to get respect for their basic rights. Many new unions in the garment sector have been registered, but the government is failing in its duty to ensure workers can bargain collectively for decent wages and conditions, and employers are simply refusing to bargain.”

Factory inspections under the Bangladesh Accord on Building and Fire Safety, a binding agreement between over 160 mainly European and US apparel companies and Global Union Federations IndustriALL and UNI, are underway. Some minor improvements to the labour law have, however, fallen well short of international standards, and hundreds of thousands of workers in Export Processing Zones are still prohibited from forming unions.

When workers at Taratex BD Ltd sought to register their union on 4 February, management began a fierce anti-union campaign. Over 100 workers including 12 union executive members were sacked, and many were subjected to intimidation and physical assault. Union members have been forced to leave the homes out of fear for their safety, and two new leaders of the factory union were detained by management and forced to sign pre-prepared forms to resign from the union.

According to Sharan Burrow, “Workers continue to labour daily under highly exploitative terms and conditions of work. The Government of Bangladesh has much more to do to ensure that workers’ rights are protected. Similarly, international brands have yet to assume their responsibility to ensure that workers’ rights are respected in their supply chains. Without worker rights, any gains on building and fire safety will not be sustainable.”

The ITUC represents 176 million workers in 161 countries and territories and has 325 national affiliates.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

UN Health Agency Responds To Ebola Spike

UN health agency responds to Ebola spike by deploying team on border of Guinea and Guinea-Bissau More>>

UN Casts Israel As World's Worst Violator Of Health Rights

Israel's army team of medics recently treated 1,600 victims of the Nepal earthquake. More>>

W Thousands Flee Syria’s Besieged Historic City Of Palmyra

As thousands flee Syria’s besieged historic city of Palmyra, UN refugee agency readies response plan More>>

UN Agency To Halt Housing Allowance For Palestine Refugees

Lack of funds forces UNRWA to suspend cash assistance for housing for Palestinian refugees from Syria in Lebanon. Photo: UNRWA/Shafiq Fahed More>>


Bangkok: International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, Biphophia

BMA, UN, embassy representatives, civil society and artists stand united with LGBTI Thais on International Day against Transphobia, Homophobia, and Biphobia (IDAHOT) at Bangkok Art and Culture Centre More>>

Displaced Iraqis Face Difficulties As Fighting Continues

UNHCR is concerned about the processing arrangements in place at the Bzabz bridge – a series of pontoons across the Euphrates River which marks the boundary between Anbar province and the capital, Baghdad. Photo: UNHCR/G. Ohara More>>

UNESCO Chief Condemns Killing Of Bangladeshi Blogger

Director-General of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Irina Bokova. UN Photo/Devra Berkowitz The head of the United Nations agency with a mandate to defend freedom of expression and press freedom worldwide today voiced ... More>>

Philadelphia: Train Crash

Five people have been confirmed dead and more than 136 people injured after an Amtrak train crashed in Philadelphia today at 9.20pm local time.More>>

UN News: Alarming Surge In Bay Of Bengal Crossings

The number of irregular migrants crossing the Bay of Bengal has almost doubled over the past year amid a dangerous uptick in human smuggling and trafficking across the region, according to a new report from the United Nations refugee agency. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news