ALLOWING TRADE UNION AT RMG SECTOR Mozena’s remark ‘provocative’: Textile minister

Textiles and Jute Minister Abdul Latif Siddique. Star file photo

Textiles and Jute Minister Abdul Latif Siddique.

Abdul Latif Siddique, the textiles and jute minister, on Monday expressed surprise after US ambassador to Bangladesh Dan W Mozena reportedly called for allowing trade unions at all garment factories.

Referring to newspaper reports, the minister said, “The US ambassador firmly called upon the RMG factory owners to allow trade union rights to the factory workers.”

“I really wonder whether the comments reportedly made by HE Ambassador Mozena directly pressurising RMG owners or entrepreneurs of Bangladesh to introduce trade unions match with his diplomatic norms and status,” he said.

Minister Siddique conveyed his feeling in a letter to the US envoy Monday. Copy of the letter was sent to different media outlets.

“Instead his remarks might feel like ‘obtrusive, hurting and provocative’ to the host country government,” the minister wrote.

He also added: “HE Ambassador Mozena will further appreciate that having or not having trade union is essentially an internal issue of the country.”

Mozena reportedly made the comment during a public hearing organised by the parliamentary standing committee on the labour and manpower ministry in Dhaka on Saturday.

Siddique said the government is actively considering the issue of allowing labour welfare committees of combined bargain agent (CBA) at RMG factories, and a bill for amending the Labour Act 2006 to this effect is now underway.

The minister also wanted to know the number of US states currently allowing trade union rights to the workers.

 Source: The Daily Star

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