Under BILS-LOFTF Project, a meeting attended by Ship Breaking Workers’ Trade Union Forum (SBWTUF) and the leadership of Metal sector campaign and advocacy team was held on 26th December 2016 at Hotel Regent Park, Chittagong.
The meeting was presided over by Ship Breaking Workers’ Trade Union Forum (SBWTUF) Joint Convener and BILS Secretary A M Nazimuddin. The meeting was addressed among others by SBWTUF Member Secretary and BJSD Central Committee President Anwar Hossain, SBWTUF Treasurer and BFTUC Chittagong Joint Secretary Rizwanur Rahaman Khan, JSL leader Sofi Bangali, BMSF Chittagong District Committee President Kaji Atah Hossain, BJSD Chittagong Divisional Committee Secretary Kazi Shaeikh Nurullah Bahar, BLF Chittagong District Committee Secretary Nurul Absar Bhuian, BJSD leader Md. Ali, JSL leader Abdur Rahim Master and BFTUC leader Md. Shahidullah. On behalf of BILS, Executive Director of the organization Syed Sultan Uddin Ahmmed, Project Coordinator Mrs. Kohinoor Mahamud and BILS Information & Training Centre, Chittagong Coordinator Pahari Bhattacharjee were also present in the meeting.
A report on BILS-LO FTF Project activities covering from January to November 2016 was placed in the meeting. It is to be mentioned that, under BILS-LOFTF Project, 14 major events were organised in Chittagong from January to December 2016, participated by thousands of Ship Breaking workers. It includes Human chain formation in case of ship yard accident, day observance, training program on capacity building, round-table discussion, lobby meeting with inspection department, campaign & advocacy team meeting, Meeting of TU Forum leadership and Committee etc.
Forum leaders, while speaking in the meeting said, due to the relentless efforts of NGO’s and TU organizations and Ship breaking workers Trade union Forum, nowadays, our workers are much more aware regarding workplace safety and TU rights. In some yards, workers are receiving personal protective equipment; they are getting legal compensation in case of accidental injury and death. But the pace of unionizing efforts is slow. Still thousands of ship breaking workers are yet to be unionized. However, the necessity of building stronger network among TU’s and NGO’s for the greater interest of Ship breaking workers were also discussed in the meeting. TU leaders suggested restarting the weekend/bimonthly training program for the ship breaking workers under BILS-LO FTF Project. They also emphasized on the capacity building training as well as advocacy and campaign related initiatives.