The politicians and labour leaders on Friday called upon the government to allocate a special fund for the workers in the next fiscal budget to protect them from the impacts of the global economic recession.
They made the call at the opening session of the 4th national conference of the Bangladesh Garment Sramik Trade Union Centre at the city’s Muktangan.
They said the global economic meltdown was the result of the failure of the free-market economic system and the workers could not suffer for that.
The government has taken initiative to create fund for the owners of the mills and factories in the backdrop of the ongoing global economic recession, but no steps were taken to protect the workers, the speakers observed.
A fund must be allocated in the budget to protect the workers, who will lose their jobs due to the recession effects, they said.
Labour leader Jasim Uddin Mandol, who inaugurated the conference, said that there is no alternative to socialism that would ensure the rights of the workers.
The opening session of the conference was followed by a colourful procession, which paraded different streets in the city.
Chaired by the GSTUC president Iddris Ali, the opening session was also addressed by convener of the National Committee to Protect Oil, Gas, Mineral Resources, and Power-Port Sheikh Muhammad Shahidullah, CPB leader Sahidullah Chowdhury, TUC leader Wazedul Islam Khan, and labour leaders Abul Kalam Azad, Montu Ghosh and Ruhul Amin.
They also demanded increase in the minimum wage for the workers as the price of essentials went up, introduction of the rationing of essential commodities for the workers of every factory, and ensuring the trade union rights of the workers.
Several hundred garment workers from different factories attended the conference.
Source: The Daily New Age, 18 April 2009