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Watchdog urges Bangladesh to fastrack setting up tribunal for worker’s cases

Graft watchdog Transparency International Bangladesh has recommended the formation of a speedy trial tribunal for resolving cases, reinstatement of dismissed workers and ushering in a fear-free environment in the readymade garment sector.

More than 4,000 cases, filed between 2013-19, are still pending for disposal moreover the disposal of such a big number of cases is a big challenge for the sector. Currently trade unions are available in only three per cent and most of them are found to be controlled by factory owners and political goons. Besides, fatality vacation as per the law is six months but it is only four weeks in practice. Moreover, almost 1,250 factories, including 1,171 under the national initiative, have closed and 4,50,000 workers lost their jobs while only 6,676 workers from two factories got compensation although there is a provision in the law to compensate the workers losing jobs.

Even six years after the Rana Plaza accident some challenges still remain as factory owners give more attention to their businesses than to the rights of workers. There hasn’t taken place notable progress regarding compensation for the loss of a job, commensurate compensation for an accident, maternity benefits, freedom of association or social safety.