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

 

At The UN: Paris Climate Agreement Moves Closer To Entry Into Force

The Paris Agreement on climate change moved closer toward entering into force in 2016 as 31 more countries joined the agreement today at a special event hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. More>>

ALSO:

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>

ALSO:

Other Australian Detention

Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Bidding Bye Bye To Boris

Boris Johnson’s exit from the contest for Conservative Party leadership supports the conspiracy theory that he never really expected the “Leave” option to win the referendum – and he has no intention now of picking up the poisoned chalice that managing the outcome will entail... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news