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Bangladesh activists say amended labour laws does not go far

The amendments that Bangladesh has made to the labor law haven’t gone down too well with stakeholders. Labor law was originally framed in 2006 to protect workers’ rights and to increase productivity in the industrial units. The last amendment has brought down the mandatory participation for registration of trade unions to 20 per cent from the previous 30 per cent.

Experts and pro-worker bodies say this is still a standard too high to meet. They say the condition of 20 per cent votes in the biennial general meetings is not possible for trade unions to fulfill for registration under the proposed new act and that their registration would be cancelled ultimately.

Although the law stipulates a four-month maternity leave, the amendment of the law will not safeguard the job of female workers. It is not clear whether the law allows maternity leave as a leave without pay or as termination from the factory. Human rights activists say the clause should be corrected to ensure the rights of female workers. They also want the compensation sum to be paid following death at the workplace to be increased.

Another objection is that the proposed amendment to the labor law does not reflect the set of recommendations proposed by the ILO.