The Government of Bangladesh would not be immediately bringing the factories in the Export Processing Zones (EPZs) under the purview of the amended labor law, meaning workers would be barred from trade unionism.
Labor and employment secretary Mikail Shipar said in a press conference that the EPZs are run under the EPZ Act which would be expiring in December this year, and the Government has no immediate plans to bring them under the labor law.
Mr. Shipar said Bangladesh was under pressure from the European Union (EU) and the US to establish trade union rights inside the EPZs, similar to the way they are established outside the EPZs.
Two committees would be formed soon to formulate the rules and regulations about the labor law, he added.
Speaking about the recruitment of 200 factory inspectors by the end of 2013, Mr. Shipar said arrangements have been made to appoint 60 factory inspectors within next two to three months and the rest 140 would be appointed gradually.
The recruitment of 200 factory inspectors would be in addition to the Government’s pledges to ensure trade union rights in the country’s burgeoning readymade garments sector outside the EPZs and appointment of 600 additional factory inspectors.
Earlier this week, Bangladesh Parliament passed the Bangladesh Labor (Amendment) Bill 2013, under which the workers would not need to seek approval from their employers to form trade unions.
Meanwhile, the US Government, which suspended its Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) facility for Bangladeshi products, has set a 15 point plan of action for the Bangladeshi Government to implement in the readymade garment sector as well as the EPZs and shrimp sector which would provide the basis for restoring the facility.
(Fibre2fashion News Desk)