UNI Global Union, a global union federation for skills and services, has urged the department of labour to register GP Employees Union without further delay.
The union’s general secretary Philip Jennings issued the letter to director general of labour Shibnath Roy on February 9 that was also sent to the state minister for labour and employment.
Philip’s letter stated, ‘I write to you concerning the status of the Grameenphone Employees Union, which was formed in 2012 and is still awaiting registration.’
The GPEU applied for registration with the department of labour on July 23, 2012. The following day, Grameenphone promptly in illegal manner dismissed 163 workers —including the union president, vice-president and five other union officials— through a single email sent late at night.
On January 9, 2018, the Labour Appellate Tribunal issued a written verdict regarding the registration of GPEU, ordering the department of labour to award the registration licence to union within seven days, the letter said.
A similar decision to register the union was also taken by the tribunal on July 21, 2014, although that decision was appealed and unduly delayed by the government and by Grameenphone, the letter said.
It also mentioned that in Europe the employees of Telenor, the lion’s shareholder of GP, including the professional, administrative and supervisory responsibilities were broadly represented by trade unions.
Telecom workers in Asia along with other countries in the world are also organised into trade unions and engaged with their employers in social dialogue to improve working conditions and company performance, the UNI general secretary said.
‘Bangladesh government claimed that Grameenphone employees cannot unionise as the majority of them are supervisors or managers and not workers under the law of the land, contrary to the findings of the court,’ it said.
The international labour organisation, however, has repeatedly commented on this issue stating that all workers should be allowed to form and join trade unions.
Meanwhile, the Labour Appellate Tribunal on February 5 this year issued a show-cause notice to the labour department’s director general for the department’s delay in giving registration to the proposed Grameenphone Employers’ Union.
The tribunal issued the notice following a contempt of court petition filed by the GPEU on the day.
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