– A Workers Resource Centre (WRC) which aims to build the capacity of trade unions in the Bangladesh Ready Made Garment (RMG) sector was launched in the city on Wednesday.
A joint platform between two leading worker organizations – the National Coordination Committee on Workers Education (NCCWE) and the IndustriALL Bangladesh Council (IBC) the WRC will help trade unions operate more effectively and provide better services to their members.
The initiative is supported by the International Labour Organization (ILO)’s Social Dialogue and Harmonious Industrial Relations project funded by Sweden and Denmark.
Speaking as a chief guest at the event, Information Minister Hasanul Haq Inu welcomed the launch of the WRC.
“The WRC should lead to a more effective union movement by fostering a culture of consultation, capacity building and information sharing. To ensure good governance in the RMG sector, dialogue and cooperation are critical. I hope that this process can go beyond the RMG industry and benefit workers in other sectors,” he said.
The WRC will provide various services including advocacy, awareness raising and training on workers’ rights, dispute resolution, grievance handling, negotiation, collective bargaining as well as occupational safety and health.
A call centre will help union members who wish to make complaints or ask advice.
Sukkur Mahmud, President, Jatiyo Sramik League and Chairperson of the WRC highlighted how the new body would help create a stronger union movement. “The Workers Resource Centre will help build capacity as well as address fragmentation amongst trade unions operating in the garment sector. Ultimately, this will benefit workers and employers alike.”
Speaking at the event, Kamran T. Rahman, President of the Bangladesh Employer’s Federation (BEF) noted the role WRC will play in facilitating industrial relations.
Delwar Hossain Khan, General Secretary of Bangladesh Labour Federation and Z.M. Kamrul Anam, Vice Chairman of the Workers Resource Centre were also present at the event.
The WRC office has been established in Tongi, an RMG-hub area close to Dhaka.
The premises are currently being renovated and once complete will host worker and trade union training, meetings and conferences.
The launch ceremony for the WRC took place at the Centre on Integrated Rural Development for Asia and the Pacific (CIRDAP).unb