A two-day long Trade Unions Solidarity Support Organizations (TUSSO)-Global Union Federations (GUF) Conference was held on August 23-24, 2017 at Hotel Lake Castle in Dhaka aimed at reviewing challenges and opportunities for Trade Unions. The conference was jointly organised by BILS, FES Bangladesh, Mondiaal FNV and Solidarity Center.
Objectives of the conference were to discuss current problems and challenges for Trade Unions in Bangladesh as indicators for what need to be supported in the years to come, to discuss with the partners on how to develop strategy on the opportunity of global focus on Bangladesh regarding workers’ rights, to exchange contact details of TUSSO and GUF for further coordination amongst them in order to coordinate and align support of funding and activities, to discuss the impact of the ILO expert committee and EU sustainability compact recommendation regarding Freedom of Association, to have and update political and labour situation developments in Bangladesh regarding the private sectors in particular, construction, tannery, telecommunication, transportation and RMG.
Two sessions regarding thematic presentation and group work were conducted in the conference. Some keynote-papers on Public Sector, RMG, Private Sector, especially construction, tannery, telecommunication and transportation, were presented in the thematic presentation to know the present status and situation, identify challenges of Trade Unions, vulnerability at workplace and to take recommendations for further advocacy. Besides, group work session was organised to take an overview of the TUSSO partnership progress and sector-wise challenges, to know the sector-wise strategy, Trade Union rights and challenges, policy advocacy and union infrastructure.
BILS Secretary General Nazrul Islam Khan, ITUC-APRO General Secretary Shoya Yoshida, Mondiaal FNV Policy Advisor Ruben Korevaar were present in inaugural session. UNI Apro Assistant Regional Secretary Rajendra Kumar Acharya, Asst. Professor of Department of Social Work at Jagannath University Mostafiz Ahmed, FES Bangladesh Residential Represntative Franziska Korn, Solidarity Center Country Program Director Jennifer Kuhlman, IndustriAll Global Union Regional Secretary-Asia Region Apoorva Kaiwar, UFGW President and BILS Advisory Council Member Roy Ramesh Chandra, Public Service International Sub-Regional Secretary Ramman Kaman, International Domestic Workers Federation General Secretary Elizabeth Tang, 3F Regional Program Coordinator Sten Peterson, Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) Research Director Khondokar Golam Moazzem, BILS Vice Chairman and Jatiya Sramik League President Alhaj Sukkur Mahamud, International Labour Organization-ILO Country Director Srinivas B Reddy, Ministry of Labour and Employment Ex. Labour Secretary Mikail Shipar, BILS Executive Director Syed Sultan Uddin Ahmmed were present other sessions in the conference.
Besides, Representatives from Trade Union and workers organization at global, regional and national level, representatives from different workers’ organisationa and different sector including RMG, tannery, construction; participated in the conference.