widenews desk:Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Monday criticised so-called labour leaders for their repeated attempts to destroy the country’s industrial sector through complaining to foreigners.
“There’re some labour leaders…I don’t know which industry they belong to but they call them labour leaders. There’s a vested quarter and their job is to just send messages abroad against Bangladesh,” she said.
The Prime Minister was addressing a discussion at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre marking the May Day.
Questioning the gains of these labour leaders for working against the country’s interest, Sheikh Hasina said, “Do they work on hire? Are they doing this for some foreign agencies? This is my doubt. Or else, why will they search for masters in foreign countries without trying to resolve the matters locally?”
She said these ‘foreign people’ will just provoke workers on local matters. “And if this provocation results in the shutdown of the industry, what the workers will get from this.” she said.
Posing a further question, she said, “Will the labour leaders give the workers food, assistance and treatment if they lose their job being provoked? Surely, they won’t. I don’t understand where their interest lies then.”
The Prime Minister said those always go to complain on every matter to their foreign masters are just damaging the interests of the workers, people, owners and overall the industries.
She urged the mill, factory and industry owners to properly look after the wellbeing of their workers. “And I’ll call upon the workers to take care of the mills, factories and industries that are sources of your livelihood. This is your duty,” she said.
Hasina categorically said both the owners and the workers have equal responsibility. “Because, if there’s no industry, how will you (owners and workers) manage your food, clothing and other expenses. You have to keep this in mind.”
She also urged the workers, both at home and abroad, to discharge their duties with honesty, sincerity and cordiality.
The Prime Minister urged the owners to give special attention to developing the conditions of their workers and workplace. “There’ll be a cordial relation between owners and workers…They’ll complement each,” she hoped.
She said the government will always stand by the workers who are contributing to the country’s economic development.
Hasina mentioned that she had worked as a bargaining agent for increasing the salaries and wages of workers.
She said her government has taken an initiative to establish 100 economic zones across the country by 2030 to expedite industrialisation and attract domestic and foreign investments.
In order to resolve the accommodation problems of workers, the government is building dormitories for them and the construction of a number of dormitories has already been completed, the Prime Minister said.
She urged the entrepreneurs to take soft loan from the government at only 2 percent interest rate to construct residential facilities for their workers.
Later, Hasina witnessed a colourful cultural function performed by the workers.
The Labour and Employment Ministry arranged the discussion held with State Minister for Labour and Employment Mujibul Haque in the chair.
Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Labour and Employment Ministry Begum Mannujan Sufian, ILO Country Director in Bangladesh Srinivas B Reddy, President of Bangladesh Employers Federation Salauddin Quashem Khan, President of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) Md Siddiqur Rahman and Jatiya Sramik League President Shukkur Mahmud also spoke on the occasion.