Labour-Management Relations Seminars and Women's Seminar Held in Bangladesh

In December 2010 JILAF organized labour-management seminars and a women's seminar in Bangladesh, a country that is attracting attention as a new destination for Japanese companies seeking to locate operations overseas. A labour-management relations seminar was held in the industrial city of Khulna on December 6–8, and a labour-management relations seminar and women's seminar were held in the capital city of Dhaka on December 10–12. A total of 68 persons participated.

Labour-Management Relations Seminar in Khulna (December 6–8)
Thirty-six local trade union leaders participated in the labour-management relations seminar held in the industrial city of Khulna. At the beginning, as an expert from JILAF, RENGO (Japanese Trade Union Confederation) advisor Keiichi Tajima said, "At present trade unions are facing a very severe situation. But if the people participating in this seminar join together and tackle various issues, labour-management relations and working conditions can definitely be improved. I want you to take the things you learn in this seminar back to your workplaces and share them with your colleagues."
In the seminar, Rengo's Tajima gave a lecture on the organization policy of Rengo and the experience of organization in Japan. Then, among other sessions, an official in charge of organization at the International Trade Union Confederation Bangladesh Council (ITUC-BC) talked about the state of labour-management relations and trade union organization in Bangladesh, organization issues and methods of solution, organizer skills, and trade union registration and labour law.
The participants also visited a sewing factory with around 1,600 workers. After checking the state of health and safety and other conditions in the factory, they held discussions with representatives of management. It was a good opportunity to learn about labour-management relations in a workplace.
Finally, as action plans for the coming year, the participants compiled specific plans on such topics as raising the union organization rate in their workplace and increasing the average wage. They showed their determination to work toward the improvement of labour-management relations from now on.

Women's seminar and labour-management relations seminar in Dhaka (December 10–12)
Thirty-two local women union leaders participated in the seminar held on the theme of gender in the capital city of Dhaka. As an expert from JILAF, Akiko Gono, head of the International Affairs Bureau of UI Zensen (Japanese Federation of Textile, Chemical, Food, Commercial, Service and General Workers' Unions), said, "In Bangladesh, despite the fact that female workers are important, in many respects, including wages, it cannot be said that they are being treated fairly. In order to break out of this state of affairs, it is important for those participating in this seminar to join together and take action to solve issues."
In the seminar, UI Zensen's Gono gave a lecture on "Living Wages and Gender," and JILAF's Field Projects Support Group leader Tomotaka Inoue spoke about "Labour-Management Relations and Collective Bargaining." Among the other sessions, a local trade union official in charge of gender affairs talked about the present condition of female workers in Bangladesh, gender problems in the workplace, and issues involved in raising the status of women.
The participants also visited a sewing factory, where, in discussions with management, they asked questions about such matters as the working conditions of female workers in the workplace and the employment of female workers.
Finally, the participants compiled their own individual action plans for the coming year and confirmed their determination to make efforts to improve the status of women.

Schedule

DateContents
12/06TueLabour-management relations seminar
12/07WedLabour-management relations seminar
12/08ThuLabour-management relations seminar
12/09FriVisit to Factory
12/10SatWomen's seminar
12/11SunWomen's seminar
12/12MonWomen's seminar

Photos of Participants

Participants listen to a lecture on organization by Rengo advisor Tajima.

Participants in the organization seminar

UI Zensen's International Affairs Bureau head Gono gives a lecture at the women's seminar.