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EU presses Bangladesh on labour issues

Black_cats

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Availing GSP Plus trade facility in European markets​

EU presses Bangladesh on labour issues​

A reminder says fulfilling pledges must for deal​


SYFUL ISLAM | Published: May 14, 2022 08:43:09 | Updated: May 14, 2022 09:03:21

EU presses Bangladesh on labour issues



Fulfilling the commitments on labour-rights issues under the National Action Plan on Labour Sector is urgent for Bangladesh to access the GSP Plus trade facility, the European Commission reminds.


Many of the commitments made by the country, including the amendment of various rules under Bangladesh Labour Act and EPZ Labour Act, remained unmet and the timelines have already passed for months, the commission wrote in a letter Tuesday, sources say.

Under the National Action Plan the executive body of the European Union wants Bangladesh to bring labour laws in compliance with International Labour Organisation (ILO) standards, elimination of child labour by 2025, combating violence against workers, harassment, unfair labour practices, anti-union discrimination, and appointing sufficient number of labour inspectors, among other conditions.

Director-general of trade at the European Commission Ewa Synowiec and two of her colleagues wrote the letter to foreign, labour, and commerce secretaries of Bangladesh following an Everything But Arms (EBA) monitoring mission in Dhaka in mid-March.

"We would like to underline once again the importance of accelerating the date of amending the Export Processing Zone (EPZ) Labour Act, a key point expressly raised in the past years and in all our recent meetings in Dhaka," the letter reads.

The trio mentions that following the mission, essential concerns on the labour aspects remain, especially about meeting the commitments in the National Action Plan fully and on time.

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They further wrote that the Bangladeshi secretaries had indicated that they might not meet the timelines as committed in the National Action Plan, like the deployment of all-envisaged new labour inspectors.

"We are also concerned about the pace of taking action to eliminate child labour and about not providing the necessary capacity and structures to ensure an effective industrial safety," they added.

The commission also listed some key points of the National Action Plan that were already raised during the mission in March.

Though these issues are complex also against the background of the pandemic, "Nevertheless, it is of paramount importance to be able to show also to our stakeholders including the European Parliament and the 27 Member States that the commitments made by Bangladesh are being fulfilled on time."

The EC further notes that timely fulfilment of the commitments in the National Action Plan has also been pointed out as being key by the Committee on International Trade of the European Parliament in its session on 20 April 2022.

In the meantime, the letter says, the European Parliament has been discussing the Commission's proposal for a new generalised scheme of preferences (GSP) regulation, including the vulnerability criteria for accessing the GSP- arrangement which the government of Bangladesh has already signalled to be interested in.

"In this context, we would like to reiterate that the duty-free and quota- free imports under the current EBA arrangement of GSP are conditional on compliance with international labour and human rights," they said.

On the protection of human rights, as underlined during the EBA monitoring mission, it is the key to addressing concerns in the area of freedom of expression, including in the digital space, and the combat of extrajudicial killings and torture and violence against women and marginalised groups, they remind.

The commission officials wanted that Bangladesh agree to take on concrete steps to follow up on human-rights concerns in the upcoming interactions-the EU-Bangladesh Joint Commission, the Subgroup on Good Governance and Human Rights, and the newly established Political Dialogue.

Labour secretary Ehsan-E-Elahi could not be reached over the phone for a comment despite several attempts.

Availing concessional-trade facility under the GSP Plus window is considered important for Bangladesh after its graduation from the world's poor-country club dubbed LDCs or least-developed countries by 2026.

syful-islam@outlook.com

 

Arthur

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This is also another reason why BDdoes not need quota from EU anymore for its garments exports.
Qouta or no qouta, don't think anyone in Europe is keen on buying thing made using slave labour.

Our RMG factory owners has grown a habit of not paying their workers and forcing them to work exorbitantly long hours for peanuts.

In this day and age, it's completely unacceptable.
 
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mmr

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Paying 100 dollar per month when things are so expensive...

europe allow its companies to exploit slave labor of bd poor ppl along with bd garments owners. And ppl here buy these cheap clothes for one or two party then throw it in garbage.
 

BananaRepublicUK

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This is also another reason why BD does not need quota from EU anymore for its garments exports.
Unfortunately, it’s impossible to develop without colonialism and/or slave labour.

Couple of generations have to sacrifice themselves for the betterment of a particular race.

In an utopian world we could grow and pay decent wages.

Sweatshop is infinitely better than the begging bowl.

Next generation will have to build a grand monument for the self sacrificing garment workers - lifting our nation out of poverty.

India and Pakistan eulogise their military. We shall build grand monuments for our factory workers.
 

UKBengali

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Unfortunately, it’s impossible to develop without colonialism and/or slave labour.

Couple of generations have to sacrifice themselves for the betterment of a particular race.

In an utopian world we could grow and pay decent wages.

Sweatshop is infinitely better than the begging bowl.

Next generation will have to build a grand monument for the self sacrificing garment workers - lifting our nation out of poverty.

India and Pakistan eulogise their military. We shall build grand monuments for our factory workers.


Exactly those who are privileged and living in the West think that you can develop and have excellent labour rights. As long as people are on the whole paid on time and not being abused at work that is the best that can be expected.

BD women have played more than their fair share in the economic success story that BD is becoming.

EU has no need to meddle in BD affairs and like we have already talked about many times, it would be better for BD to lose GSP rights at this stage. It is only making the garment industry lazy and not investing in machinery and technology faster.

PS - 120 dollars a month on average for a garment worker is certainly better than begging out on the streets.
 

BananaRepublicUK

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Exactly those who are privileged and living in the West think that you can develop and have excellent labour rights. As long as people are on the whole paid on time and not being abused at work that is the best that can be expected.

BD women have played more than their fair share in the economic success story that BD is becoming.

EU has no need to meddle in BD affairs and like we have already talked about many times, it would be better for BD to lose GSP rights at this stage. It is only making the garment industry lazy and not investing in machinery and technology faster.

PS - 120 dollars a month on average for a garment worker is certainly better than begging out on the streets.
People also need to stop looking at salaries in isolation.

Most of the garment workers are women. Their wages is doubling the overall household income.

So, individually it is sweatshop wage but collectively it is Indian call centre supervisor wages.
 

UKBengali

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People also need to stop looking at salaries in isolation.

Most of the garment workers are women. Their wages is doubling the overall household income.

So, individually it is sweatshop wage but collectively it is Indian call centre supervisor wages.


Great point.

These women’s husband make around twice this amount a day in either rickshaw cycling or as a labourer.

So we are talking about 3-400 dollars a month for a family.

Yes they are just surviving but this is actually decent for people with next to no education.
 

BananaRepublicUK

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Great point.

These women’s husband make around twice this amount a day in either rickshaw cycling or as a labourer.

So we are talking about 3-400 dollars a month for a family.

Yes they are just surviving but this is actually decent for people with next to no education.
The women working also keeping the babies being born - that makes the money go even farther.

Mass female labour participation is the best way to control population growth.

All the talking heads and do gooders need to take a panoramic view rather than the periscopic view!

In summary, sweatshops are enabling:

1. Doubling of household income
2. Population control
3. Gender equality
 

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