Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Anisul Huq yesterday said the United States (US) wants to work with Bangladesh Government as a partner in lowering trade union threshold in labor sector.
“The US is very conscious about workers’ rights, and it is very important issue to them. It is also a matter of great importance to Bangladesh government and the government of Awami League. It is so important that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina kept the helm of Ministry of Labor and Employ-ment in her hands,” Anisul Huq told newsmen.
The law minister said these while briefing journalists after coming out of his meeting with US Embassy labour attach, Leena Khan and first secretary (political) Matthew Beh at his secretariat office this noon.
Law and Justice Division Secretary Md Golam Sarwar and Legislative and Parliamentary Affairs Division Additional Secretary Hafiz Ahmed Chowdhury were present among others at the time.
“We have discussed labor rights issue with the labor attaches, of the US Embassy here. This dis-cussion is going on with them since last year. We have discussed the progress in the discussion and the possibilities of further progress. Yesterday we have discussed labor amendment bill, which was sent by the President back to the parliament. We have discussed the matter,” the law minister added.
The law minister further said he would hold a meeting with a delegation of Ministry of Labor and Employment on Wednesday. The meeting of ILO governing body would be held in March and they have already enquired about couple of things from us to learn about our progress in the sec-tor. We would inform them about those matters after this meeting, he said.
While replying a question on trade union threshold, the law minister said the US always had their say on this matter, adding, “We said that we have lowered this to 15 percent. There was a condi-tion that this would only be applicable in factories where the total number of workers would be three thousand or more. We can have discussion on this matter.”
“They said such factories are very few, where three thousands or more workers work. In reply I have said that we can take decision after discussing the matter with the stakeholders,” he added.