Training builds government capacity to boost workplace cooperation

The capacity of the Government of Bangladesh to support workplace cooperation and handle grievances is set to increase through training provided by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) with the support of Sweden and Denmark.

Participants at the workshop
A five-day training programme commenced in Dhaka today to establish a pool of 30 master trainers comprising officials of the Department of Labour (DoL) and Industrial Relations Institutes (IRI). Initial training focusses on workplace cooperation, with future sessions set to cover collective bargaining and grievance procedures.

Once trained, these master trainers will play a crucial role to support the development of workplace cooperation plans in 34 non-unionised factories out of a group of 54 pilot factories provided by the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) and Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA). These plans will provide a basis for the work of the Participation Committees in these factories. By including IRI lecturers in the programme the capacity of DoL’s training arm will also be enhanced. Meanwhile, four staff from the BGMEA and BKMEA also took part.

Mr. Gagan Rajbhandari, Deputy Director, ILO Bangladesh said, “This training marks an important first step in our efforts to create better social dialogue in Bangladesh. Enhancing the capacity of the Department of Labour and Industrial Relations Institutes will help build a more mature industrial relations environment for Bangladesh that will benefit employers and workers alike.”

The training programme has been developed with the support of the ILO’s International Training Centre (ITC). It is the first of a series to be held by the ILO’s Improving Social Dialogue and Harmonious Industrial Relations in the Bangladesh RMG sector project. Launched in December 2016 in collaboration with Government of Bangladesh, the initiative aims to develop dialogue mechanisms between employers and workers as a means of preventing and constructively resolving disputes.

Also speaking at the event, Abu Hena Mostafa Kamal, Director of Labour, Department of Labour said, “We have to work more to ensure the rights and welfare of workers. We are doing a lot already, but if we want to do things more effectively we need to use modern tools. The Social Dialogue project is a golden opportunity for us to achieve this goal.”

The training takes place from 3 to 7 April 2017 at the Amari Hotel, Dhaka. Also taking part in the opening ceremony was Mr Miah Abdullah Mamun, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Labour and Employment, Mr. Abu Hena Mostafa Kamal, Director of Labour, Department of Labour, and Sylvain Baffi, Programme Officer ITC.