Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today laid emphasis on the necessity of having a cordial relation between the owners and workers to keep running the production in the factories alongside expediting the export in this competitive world.
“I always would request our owners and workers to maintain a good and cordial relation among yourself,” she said.
The Premier said this while addressing the Green Factory Award-2020 distribution and inauguration ceremony of eight newly constructed infrastructures including Working Women Hostel at Osmani Memorial Auditorium, joining virtually from her official residence Ganabhaban.
She said the owners will have to keep in mind that the workers keep their factories in operation with their labour and thus make the ways of their (owners’) earnings.
At the same time, she said, the workers will have to keep in mind that since there are factories, they can earn from the factories and lead their families.
“You have to take care of the factory that provides you food and livelihood,” she told the labourers.
Noting that some outsiders –they may be worker leaders or vested quarters- are sometimes seen trying to create an unstable environment in the factories, Sheikh Hasina said it is essential to keep measures for uninterrupted production in the factories and unremitting export in this competitive world.
She continued “If an unstable environment is created, it will halt export, hamper the work environment and thus you will lose work as well. Then you’ll have to suffer from the curse of unemployment. So, the workers will have to play a responsible role here keeping it in their mind.”
With State Minister for Labour and Employment Begum Monnujan Sufian, MP in the chair, Secretary of the ministry Md. Ehsan-E-Elahi delivered the welcome address.
Later, on behalf of the Prime Minister, the state minister handed over the Green Factory Award-2020 among 30 recipients. Each organization/factory received a crest, medal, certificate and a cheque of Taka one lakh.
The Ministry of Labour and Employment has introduced the “Green Factory Award, 2020″ aimed at building Bangabandhu’s ”Sonar Bangla” and encouraging the local industrial institutions for competitive participation in the global arena alongside setting up green factories.
The 30 firms from six sectors have been selected considering some criteria such as essential compliance, environmental compliance, institutional compliance and innovative activities.
The factories are 15 from the garment sector while three from the food processing sector and four from the tea industry sector, two from the leather industry sector, three from the plastic sector and three from the pharmaceutical industry sector.
At the function, the Prime Minister also opened the ministry’s eight newly constructed structures, including a women (working) hostel.
The eight new structures are working women hostel with 5-bed hospital facilities and labour welfare centre at Bandar in Narayanganj; six-storey Shilpa Samparka Shikhayatan Bhaban in Chattogram; five-storied regional labour office in Narayanganj; three-storied labour welfare centre and regional labour office in Bogura, three-storied labour welfare centre in Gaibandha; three-storied labour welfare centre at Mongla in Bagerhat; four-storied labour welfare centre at Rupsha in Khulna and labour welfare complex at Ghagray in Rangamati.
The Prime Minister said that the government has so far introduced 5,673 day-care centers in various factories/institutions across the country to provide services to the children of working mothers.
“We are constructing dormitories for female workers in different parts of the country,” she said, referring to the construction of three dormitory-cum-training centers in Dhaka, Chittagong and Ishwardi.
In addition, she said, safe and quality housing along with a labor welfare center has been made in Bandar Upazila of Narayanganj district where female workers would avail facilities at low cost.
Mentioning that environment-friendly industry has truly developed in Bangladesh, which is a matter of pride, the Premier said her government has provided different facilities to the mills-factories, including garment industries, so that the industrial units could be developed as green factories.
She hoped the Green Factory Award would act as inspiration for the factories to create a decent environment for the workers and employees as well as would also encourage the non-factories to be environment-friendly.
Talking about the gender pay disparity, Sheikh Hasina said women are given less wage compared to their male counterparts in many countries. But, the government has taken measures to ensure the equal wage for women workers in Bangladesh, she added.
She said her government put emphasis on industrialization not only in Dhaka or some particular places, as it is developing special economic zones in different parts across the country.
The Prime Minister highlighted different measures taken by her government for the welfare of the workers, particularly after assuming office in 2009 through the 2008 election.
The measures include raising the minimum wages to Taka 8,300 from Taka 4,150 for workers in 42 industrial sectors, formation of the workers’ welfare fund as well as a central fund for socio-economic development of the workers of 100 percent export-oriented garment industry and their families, enactment of the Bangladesh Labour (Amendment) Act-2018, formulation of Bangladesh Labour Rules-2015, National Child Labour Elimination Policy-2010, National Labour Policy-2012, National Occupational Health and Safety Policy 2013 and Domestic Worker Protection and Welfare Policy-2015 etc.