Labour leaders and rights activists on Sunday at a discussion urged the government and the readymade garment factory owners to ensure safety for women workers not only in the workplace but also on the way to work and home.
They called for undertaking a number of measures that included providing residential facilities for all workers within a short distance of the workplace, having day-care facilities for the children of workers and setting up complaint boxes in every factory.
Non-governmental organisation INCIDIN Bangladesh, in collaboration with Bangladesh Garments Worker Unity for Industry and Plan International Bangladesh, organised the discussion at CIRDAP Auditorium in Dhaka.
Israfil Alam, member of parliamentary standing committee on labour and employment ministry, inaugurated the multi-stakeholder dialogue on code of conduct to promote an equitable, safe and inclusive workplace for women workers of the RMG sector.
BGWUI convener Sirajul Islam Rony, also president of Bangladesh National Garment Workers Employees League, said, ‘Garment workers live in insecurity everywhere. However, the insecurity that they face to and from the workplace is totally ignored.’
He asked the government and factory owners to provide residential facilities for the workers near their workplaces.
Speaking as chief guest, Israfil observed that to eliminate discriminations the victims and labour organisations must come forward.
INCIDIN Bangladesh executive director AKM Masud Ali said that the 13 labour organisations that had come under the unity platform would hold dialogues to improve safety of the workers.
Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety director Quamrunnessa Babli said, ‘Safety is not only structural safety of a worker; it includes comprehensive safety, which includes personal safety of the worker.’
Department of inspection for factories and establishments additional inspector general Anwar Ullah stressed the need for ensuring decent work environment for all workers and employees.
He observed that the law was sufficient to protect rights of the workers but social motivation was the key to solve some issues.
Readymade Garment Workers Federation president Lovely Yesmin called for ensuring that all factory owners provided day-care facilities and maternity leave for women workers.
Former BGMEA director Arshad Jamal requested the government to provide tax discount on corporate social responsibility fund if used for skills development of women workers.