BSS-35 Cabinet Okays EPZ labour law





Cabinet Okays EPZ labour law

DHAKA, Dec 3, 2018 (BSS) – The incumbent cabinet today held its last
weekly meeting with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair, approving a
draft law allowing trade union activities in Export Processing Zones (EPZs)

“The law has been framed in consistence with the newly enacted Bangladesh
Labour Law,” cabinet secretary Md. Shafiul Alam said while briefing reporters
at Bangladesh Secretariat after the 202nd cabinet meeting of the current
government at Bangladesh Secretariat.

He said the draft would now directly sent to President Abdul Hamid for its
promulgation as an ordinance, which subsequently was expected to be enacted
as EPZ Labour Act 2018 with endorsement of the next parliament.

Alam said the proposed law requires labourer organizations to have two-
thirds support to enforce a work stoppage line with the provisions of the new
Labour Law, which previously demanded three fourths of workers support for
such actions.

Alam said the law would equip EPZ workers with rights to enforce work
stoppage and factory lock-out while it also accommodated some ILO
recommendations and some observations of Canada and the United States to make
it more labour friendly. He said the existing regulations so far required an
EPZ labourer organization to have at least 30 percent of workers to be its
member while the proposed law set the threshold to be 20 percent to make the
units more favourable for workers.

The labourer organizations, he said, could frame their constitutions as
Sramik Kalyan Samity keeping it consistent to the Bangladesh Labour Law.

The cabinet secretary said if a worker wants to resign on completion of 25
of years service, he would get service benefit of 45 days for every working
year instead of existing provision of 30 days.

The proposed law, he said, authorized Department of Inspection for
Factories and Establishments to inspect the EPZ factories alongside the BEPZA

The law proposed formation of Sramik Kalyan Samity Federation and deleted
the provision of referendum before formation of a labour organization and bar
on formation of a labour organization within three months of a newly
established industry.