BILS, under its’ DGB-BW project organised a National Level Trade Union Leadership Consultation Meeting that has been held hybrid mode (both online & off-line version) on August 19, 2021. Trade Union leadership and project related BILS officials from Chttogram and Dhaka simultaneously joined the meeting while it was also participated by DGB-BW Asia region Consultant Indira Gartenberg from New Delhi, India.
The consultation meeting was presided over by BILS-LRSC Centre Coordination Committee Chairman A M Nazimuddin. BILS Secretary General and Executive Director Nazrul Islam Khan was the chief guest while DGB-BW Asia region Consultant Indira Gartenberg attended the meeting as a special guest. Other notable participants of the consultation meeting were BILS Advisory Council Members Mesbahuddin Ahmed, Quamrul Ahsans, Naimul Ahsan Jewel, Executive Council members Md. Shakil Akhter Chowdhury, Kazi Rahima Akter Shati and Shamim Ara, BTUC office secretary Shahida Parveen Shaikha, BILS-DGB-BW project coordinator Kohinoor Mahmood, Ctg.-based LRSC member-secretary Md. Safar Ali, LRSC member Tapan Datta, local trade union leaders namely Syed Ahmed Badol, Uzzal Bishwash and Nasrin Akter of JSL, M R Monju, Shahenewaz Chowdhury and Advocate Md. Iqbal of BJSD, Nurul Absur of BMSF, Jahiduddin Shaheen of BJSF, A K M Abdul Momin of JSJ, Hassan Shahid Rana of JSJB, K M Shahidullah and Tamanna Binte Azad of BFTUC. The consultation meeting was moderated by BILS-LRSC senior officer Pahari Bhattacharjee.
At the beginning of the meeting, the inaugural speech was delivered by JSL central vice president Md. Safar Ali. Later the aim and object of the consultation were narrated by BILS-DGB-BW project coordinator Kohinoor Mahmood. Then, BILS-LRSC activities under DGB-BW project phase of 2016-2018 and 2019-2021 were presented by BILS-LRSC senior officer Rizwanur Rahman Khan.
After the presentation, program participants took part in the opinion sharing. It was said that BILS under the DGB-BW phase established a Labour Resource and Support Centre in 2016 and initiated numerous activities including capacity building training, leadership orientation, internship, legal-support to victim workers, organizing youth and women workers camp, voice raise program in terms of right violation, organizing occupational health and safety fair, conducting various survey and study for establishing workers’ rights in selected sectors like Railway, Port, RMG, Construction, Hotel-Restaurant and in Private Health and Diagnostics.
Leadership in the consultation meeting expressed their deep concern over the ongoing pandemic issue and illegal lay-off, job-cut, and forced termination in RMG and other sectors as the consequences of the Covid-19.
Most speakers expressed their hope and satisfaction over the result of the BILS-DGB-BW project activities and LRSC initiatives of last 5 years especially in terms of capacity building of the trade unionists, formation of new trade unions, submitting charter of demands, increasing trade union membership and project-related some other activities.
Chief Guest of the consultation meeting Nazrul Islam Khan expressed thanks and gratitude to DGB-BW and local trade union leadership for support and assistance in BILS activities over the last 5 years. He said, if we work all together, we can overcome many obstacles in terms of establishing labour rights.
Special Guest of the consultation meeting Indira Gartenberg expressed her experiences about working with Bangladesh and said it was positive in a greater sense. She thanked all for keeping continuation of implementing project designed activities amid Covid-19.
Central and local trade union leadership suggested to take initiative all together to stand beside the most vulnerable sector workers of Chattogram and the region and to take joint action in terms of eradicating barriers for forming trade union and establishing labour rights.