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Strengthening the Capacity of Independent Workersa�� Organizations in the Garment Industries in Bangladesh

Project Name: Strengthening the Capacity of Independent Workersa�� Organizations in the Garment Industries in Bangladesh

Supported By: Solidarity Centre/Bangladesh

Duration: July 2013- December 2014.

Description: The overall goal of the program is to improve the economic well-being and working conditions of Bangladeshi garment workers by strengthening their independent worker organizations. The project has ita��s focus on developing more effective leaders; training trainers who will continue to mobilize and educate workers; and building the skills of activists and advocates, particularly women, who will be better equipped to recruit and represent workers. To achieve the objectives the following programs will be implemented.

  • Gender Equality and Womena��s Leadership Trainings
  • Establishment of Womena��s Leadership Network
  • Establishment of Womena��s Committees in Unions and EPZa��s Workers Welfare Associations

ILO-FPRW RMG Support Programme (1st phase): To ensure the fundamental principles and rights at work and better practice of freedom of association & collective bargaining (ILO Convention 87 & 98) in RMG sector of Bangladesh, ILO- under FPRW project initiated a project to improve the capacity of the workers and their organizations to accelerate the ongoing organizing process for responsive TUs in the sector. The project titled a�?Capacity Building Program with Workers and RMG Trade Unions for Enhanced Freedom of Association, Collective Bargaining, and Workplace Representationa�� started in April-2012 and completed in June-2013. Syed Sultan Uddin Ahmmed, Assistant Executive Director-BILS was assigned as the Consultant for this project to work in coordination with the CTA of FPRW project who provided necessary technical assistance throughout the project period. 2 trainersa�� teams were formed to conduct capacity building workshops and trainersa�� training. Besides Leaders and TU officials also actively participated as resource persons for the successful implementation of project activities.

The overall objective of this project was to improve and strengthen the knowledge and awareness of the workers of RMG sectors so that they can continue their ongoing organizing activities and effectively participate in social dialogue for their legal entitlements. This project implemented the following activities;

The project implemented the following activities as follows;

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  1. Project Preparation Meetings (Total 3)
  2. One-day Planning Workshops (total 21)
  3. Two-day Training Workshop (total 1)
  4. Two-day Capacity Building Workshops (total 6)

At the beginning of the project a workplan and a PIP were prepared in consultation with the leaders of NCCWE & IBC and ILO FPRW office. The implementation of project activities started with meeting with NCCWE & IBC to draw advices and guidelines in implementation process. A total of 21 one- day planning workshops, total 6 two-day capacity building workshops and 1 two-day trainersa�� training were organized in accordance to the workplan. At the middle of the project implementation, some additional activities were included in the workplan and implemented accordingly.

The overall achievement of the project activities were the development of a pool of trainers, organizers and leaders. Reinforcement of the organizing activities was also major outcome of this project. The participating TU personnel in different project activities became oriented on knowledge, skills and necessary techniques for organizing in RMG sector. The participants were also provided knowledge on labour rights and decent work in order to develop a better understanding on the workersa�� legal entitlements.

One resource manuals and two training manuals were developed prior to the workshops and trainings. Besides conducting these trainings, these manuals can also be useful for the follow-up activities of this project as well as in any similar activities for RMG sector. Moreover a number of labour law booklets have been distributed among the participants during trainersa�� training.

The most significant activity of this project was the half day meeting with NCCWE and IBC leaderships where future strategies for organizing activities were opined. The leaders identified the necessity for integrated approach in RMG sector and recommended with expected outcomes.

ILO-ACTRAV RMG Support Programme: In the year 2011, International Labor Organization (ILO) initiated a project named as a�?Capacity Building of Trade Unions in the RMG Sector-Bangladesha�� to ensure the fundamental rights and decent work environment in Bangladesh from the month April to December-2011. The overall objective of the project was to improve the capacity of the workers organizations of the RMG sector, so that they can strengthen ongoing organizing activities and actively participate in social dialogue to ensure workers rights and proper implementation of Decent Work including FoA and CB (ILO Convention 87 & 98) in RMG sector. A series of programmes such as Educators Training, Leadership Development and Organizing, Training for Women Leaders, Organizers Training etc were organized under this project. The overall achievements of this project were the development of a pool of trainers, organizers and leaders. The most significant activity of the project was the a�?Strategic Planning Workshopa�? (held in Dhaka on 14-15 December, 2011), where the senior leadership of NTUCs and leaders of RMG TUs participated and opined for an integrated approach for organizing the workers of RMG sectors. Through the workshop, number of recommendations and strategy for organizing were developed. For the implementation of these recommended activities, ILO-FPRW initiated the RMG Support Programme.

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