Hundreds of garment workers staged a symbolic sit-in strike on 16 January in front of the National Press Club in Dhaka city, Bangladesh, demanding that Parliament takes up and passes a key piece of labour legislation.
The legislation has been ready for presentation in Parliament for three years, but the Labour Ministry has stalled the process.
The current government of Bangladesh repeatedly promised to amend the labour law, both before and after the last general election in December 2008. But the draft amendment has been held up inside the Labour Ministry for the last three years.
In that time three separate labour bills have been adopted by parliament. The first suspended trade union rights inside the country’s Economic Processing Zones, the second exonerates factory owners from serving jail time for breaking labour laws, and the third also increases the rights of employers over workers.