Workers' Organizations in Bangladesh

ILO helps enhance the capacity of trade unions
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The ILO with guidance and support from its Bureau for Workers’ Activities (ACTRAV), works closely with workers’ organizations in Bangladesh to reach its goal of providing Decent Work for all.

In view of the structure of the union movement in Bangladesh, ILO has adopted a strategy to work with union counterparts at various levels. At the national level, collaboration takes place with the National Coordination Committee on Workers Education (NCCWE). Meanwhile at sectoral level collaboration takes place with both the NCCWE as well as the IndustriALL Bangladesh Council (IBC). This approach takes into account the relative presence, strengths and needs of unions at the various levels.

The National Coordination Committee for Workers’ Education is a united platform of 13 major national trade union federations in Bangladesh. It is affiliated with International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) and World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU), as well as global union federations of the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF). Meanwhile the IndustriALL Bangladesh Council has a strong presence in the ready-made garment sector and is affiliated with the IndustriALL Global Union.

ILO is providing technical assistance for trade union organizations to improve the capacity of workers to organize through a workers education programme organised in collaboration with the NCCWE and the IBC under coordination with IndustrialAll and ACTRAV. The programme aims at creating an enabling environment for worker organization and collective bargaining at factory level that would lead to workers participating in occupational health and safety as well as participation committees. Recognising that the majority of garment workers are women, special emphasis is being placed on training women trade union leaders and organizers on key labour rights. Efforts are also being made to provide unions with the skills to establish collective bargaining agreements for the improvement of working conditions in the RMG sector.