Dhaka – Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday called the workers to be more sincere in keeping mills and factories, which made arrangements for their butter and bread, operational.
The Prime Minister, while distributing cheques among successors of the workers who killed in accidents or died, also urged the factory owners to be more sympathetic to the workers and look their wellbeing.
She called upon both owners and workers’ organizations to contribute their parts for introduction of long-term sustainable ‘employment injury scheme”.
State Minister for Labour and Employment Mujibul Haque Chunnu presided over the function, while chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on the Labour and Employment Ministry Begum Monnujan Sufian also spoke.
Labour and Employment Secretary Michael Shipar delivered the welcome address.
Putting emphasis on establishing “employment injury scheme,” Hasina said that the government has already started working to this end by considering the recent incidents in the garment sector.
“The German government and ILO are providing financial and technical assistance for that,” she said.
Hasina said the current Bangladesh Labour law has a provision for giving proper compensation if any worker dies due to any accident or diseases or loses working capability.
“But a huge amount is needed for giving compensation in the case of a major accident and we’re feeling its (employment injury scheme) necessity due to recent accidents happened in the garment sector,” she said.
The prime minister said the representatives of the government, owners and workers have already visited the Employment Injury Scheme in Germany.
“In the light of this experience, we hope that we would be able to build such a scheme befitting to the country through which giving proper compensation to the workers would be easier,” Hasina was quoted to have said by state-run Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha news agency.
She listed the government’s measures for ensuring welfare of the workers saying one of her goals is to protect the interest and ensure the welfare of the working class people.
The government is active in ensuring peace and production at the mills and factories.
“We’ve taken various realistic and sustainable programmes for the workers including raising the minimum wages and improving living standard and ensuring medicare and training,” she said.
“I think implementation of these programmes will boost productivity alongside increasing efficiency of the workers and establishing a peaceful working environment,” she said.
The prime minister said financial assistance of Tk 5 crore has so far been given to 966 workers and their families. Today cheques for financial help were given to 64 working class people and their family members, she said.
She said the government has announced minimum wages for the workers of 38 industrial sectors including garment. “We have raised minimum wages of the RMG workers to Tk 5,300 from Tk 1600 and constituted a central fund for the first time for their overall welfare,” she said.
Hasina said Tk 40 crore have been so far deposited to the fund since July 2016. “We have also ensured equal wages for the huge number of female workers working in different industries including garment,” she said.