RMG trade union members learn safety and organisational skills

Trade union members will be better placed to enhance conditions in the Ready Made Garment (RMG) sector following a week-long programme of training activities designed to increase their organizational capacity and involvement in occupational safety committees.

Press release | Dhaka, Bangladesh | 24 September 2014
Two training events entitled “Strategic Planning Programme for Women Trade Union Leaders in the RMG Sector” and “Enhancing Workers’ Participation in Occupational Safety and Health Committees” were held back to back in Dhaka from 23-26 September.
They were organized by the ILO’s Improving Working Conditions in the RMG sector Programme which is funded by Canada, the Netherlands and the UK. The training was provided by the ITC (International Training Centre) Turin and ACTRAV-ILO (Bureau for Workers' Activities).
During the sessions some 35 women trade union leaders and organizers affiliated with the National Coordination Committee for Workers' Education (NCCWE) learned about women’s rights and working conditions, freedom of association, collective bargaining and labour administration. They also gained practical knowledge and skills on union organization that will enable them to educate and organize workers at factory level in order to improve working conditions in the RMG sector.
“The workforce in the RMG sector is predominantly female. It is therefore crucial that women are trained to take leadership roles in order to make their voices heard when it comes to improving working conditions. One of the ways that this can be done is through strengthening women’s involvement and leadership in trade unions,” said Mr Srinivas B Reddy, ILO Bangladesh Country Director.

Meanwhile another 35 trade union member’s learned how to play a greater role in Occupational Safety and Health committees. During interactive sessions they studied how to identify hazards in the workplace and also gained an understanding of standards and guidelines concerning safety and health policies and systems.

In addition, participants in both training events learned and practiced interactive techniques to pass on their knowledge to other staff in the work place.

“Following the Rana Plaza collapse occupational safety and health has become the number one priority in the RMG sector. Unions have a vital role to play in this regard as they are able to pass on skills to the workforce while also engaging with the employers regarding safety concerns. These training events will help build capacity of union staff and organisers to and we look forward to replicating this type of training on a wider scale in the future,” Mr Reddy said.

The three-and-a-half year Improving Working Conditions in the Ready Made Garment (RMG) Sector Programme focuses on improving RMG factory building safety, workers’ rights and overall working conditions in Bangladesh. The initiative will run until December 2016.
The Ready-Made Garment (RMG) sector is integral to the Bangladeshi economy, with an estimate of 3,500 export factories in operation, providing employment for over 4.2 million workers. Industry exports totalled $21.5 billion in 2012-2013, making Bangladesh one of the world's leading apparel exporters.

For more information contact please contact:

Needham, email: needham@ilo.org mob: +88 01787 680995
Abdullah Al Muyid, email: muyid@ilo.org mob: +88 01713 068384