DHAKA, July 26 (NsNewsWire) — A group of 30 officials from the Bangladesh Department of Labour have been trained on principles and techniques of investigation of unfair labour practices. The training will contribute to efforts to protect workers against anti-union discrimination and unfair labour practices by building capacity to implement the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) adopted for this purpose in 2017 by the Ministry of Labour and Employment.
The five-day residential training took place 22-26 July 2018 organized by the International Labour Organization (ILO) under its Promoting Social Dialogue and Harmonious Industrial Relations in the Bangladesh Ready-Made Garment Industries (SDIR) Project. The workshop was held at the BCDM Savar in Dhaka. The SDIR Project is funded by the Governments of Sweden and Denmark.
The officials showed a sound knowledge of the main elements of the principle of Freedom of Association and discussed relevant national legislation. They also looked at the most frequent violations and practiced the soft skills required to conduct adequate investigations.
The Director General of the Department of Labour and Additional Secretary of the Government of Bangladesh, Mr. Shib Nath Roy emphasized the relevance of the content of the training and the challenging work to be done. “I want to stress the importance of the duties that you, investigators of unfair labour practices carry out. It is of vital importance both for the Bangladeshi workforce and employers to count on your support in order to safeguard their right to freedom of association.”
He also urged officials from the Department of Labour to better capture information while undertaking an investigation and perform with honesty, impartiality, integrity and professionalism. He underscored the need to develop various tracking and reporting formats for the Department.
Mr Tuomo Poutiainen, Country Director, ILO Bangladesh highlighted the importance of the Standard Operating Procedures to ensuring harmonious industrial relations. “Cases of anti-union discrimination and unfair labour practices must be dealt in a systematic and credible manner. Training officials of the Department of Labour in these Standard Operating Procedures will help ensure that they are put into action. We must also work to create greater awareness amongst workers and employers of the procedures.”
ILO’s SDIR project assisted the Government of Bangladesh in developing the SOPs on anti-union discrimination and unfair labour practices. The SOP on Trade Union Registration introduces a standardised procedure with fixed steps and times that offer greater clarity and transparency to the process. Likewise, the SOP for Unfair Labour Practices includes a series of steps from the submission of a written complaint to the Department of Labour to ultimately cases being referred to the Labour Court.
The training was developed and delivered by the ILO’s International Training Centre (ITC). Running until March 2021 the SDIR project is funded by the governments of Sweden and Denmark and implemented by the ILO in collaboration with the Government of Bangladesh, employers, and trade unions. The initiative is helping strengthen the Department of Labour and developing dialogue mechanisms between employers and workers as a means of preventing and resolving disputes. It is also working to strengthen conciliation and arbitration mechanisms so that they are more credible, trusted and transparent. Press Release