The International Labour Organization (ILO) has called for a greater social dialogue among representatives of the government, employers and workers within the Bangladesh readymade garment sector, highlighting the gains this would bring.
Tomoko Nishimoto, Assistant Director General and Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific of the International Labour Organization, said there are considerable benefits to be gained by both businesses and workers from enhanced social dialogue and the better industrial relations this leads to.
“For employers, an engaged workforce is more likely to be a productive and profitable workforce; a workforce which helps drive growth and attracts investment,” she said.
For the workforce meanwhile, social dialogue can deliver enhanced wages and better working conditions by helping workers realise their fundamental rights such as freedom of association and collective bargaining.”
Nishimoto was speaking at a National Tripartite Consultation on Strengthening Social Dialogue and Industrial Relations in Bangladesh held by ILO in Dhaka on Tuesday supported by the governments of Denmark and Norway.
M Mujibul Haque Chunnu, State Minister, Ministry of Labour and Employment was present as the chief guest.
The consultation was organised in order to gain the views and input from representatives of government, employers, workers organisations and development partners on proposed new ILO initiatives to further advance workplace cooperation and industrial relations in Bangladesh.
Nishimoto explained that for ILO, social dialogue included all types of negotiation, consultation and exchange of information between, or among, representatives of governments, employers and workers on issues of common interest.
“It’s in the very real interests of both workers and businesses to have robust social dialogue at both enterprise and sectoral levels,” she added.
Mikail Shipar, Secretary for Labour and Employment; Sabrina Islam, Vice-President of the Bangladesh Employers Federation (BEF); M Atiqul Islam, President of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA); AH Aslam Sunny, First Vice-President of the Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA); Abdul Mukit Khan, Chairman of the National Coordination Committee for Workers’ Education (NCCWE); and Roy Ramesh Chandra, Secretary General of the IndustriAll Bangladesh Council (IBC); and Srinivas Reddy, Country Director ILO Bangladesh were also present.