On the occasion of the fiscal 2016 start of the SGRA project (Supporting Grass-Roots Activities through the International Employers’ and Workers’ Network), which JILAF is implementing with grants from the Japanese government (Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare), a JILAF delegation attended the first meeting in the current fiscal year of the Central Roundtable, which comprises representatives from the central government, labour, and management in Bangladesh, as well as the International Labour Organization (ILO) and JILAF, to discuss plans and specific activities in the coming year based on fiscal 2016 project policy.
In the meeting, lively discussions were held on such topics as (1) the significance of the SGRA project, which brings together the Bangladesh Council of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC-BC), the Bangladeshi government, the Bangladesh Employers’ Federation (BEF), and the ILO in an effort to improve and uplift the livelihoods of informal-sector workers; (2) the bridging of network members to a construction training program organized by the ILO; (3) the holding of an SGRA job fair by the BEF to provide work and employment opportunities for network members; (4) the acceptance of an expert from the Bangladeshi Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development and Cooperatives as a member of the Central Roundtable; and (5) the establishment and future activities of an SGRA cooperative society in Chittagong. The meeting closed with the participants vowing to do their utmost to achieve the project’s targets in the current fiscal year.
In addition, a Life Support Seminar for livelihood improvement and uplifting was held in Dhaka, and 60 informal-sector workers were newly organized as network members. A total of 360 new network members are scheduled to be organized in Bangladesh in the current fiscal year---60 each in the four districts where the project is being implemented (Dhaka, Bogra, Khulna, and Chittagong) plus 120 people organized through the self-help efforts of SGRA cooperative societies (shomobae shomitee).
In the Life Support Seminar, after observing a minute’s silence for the victims of earthquakes in Kumamoto Prefecture, Japan, the participants heard lectures on (1) how to use the livelihood improvement and uplifting toolkit, (2) medical services for informal-sector workers, (3) efforts to improve household accounts, and (4) informal-sector workers and cooperative societies. The seminar provided backing for improving and uplifting the livelihoods of the new network members.
|05/07||Sat||1st Central Roundtable meeting|
|05/09||Mon||LSS in Dhaka|