IndustriALL calls for an end to police interference in union activities at BD
IndustriALL Global Union represents more than 50 million workers in mining, energy and manufacturing, including ready-to-wear, in more than 140 countries, including Bangladesh.
IndustriALL Global Union has called for an end to police interference in the union’s activities in Bangladesh, according to a press release.
IndustriALL Global Union general secretary Atle Høie disclosed the request in a letter to Prime Minister Shiekh Hasina, posted from Geneva on September 29.
In the letter, he said he was writing the letter on behalf of IndustriALL Global Union which represents more than 50 million workers in the mining, energy and manufacturing industries, including the ready-to-wear, in more than 140 countries, including Bangladesh.
“We would like to draw your attention to the issue of police obstruction in the formation of the Chittagong Regional Committee of IndustriALL Bangladesh Council (IBC), which is the coordinating body of IndustriALL Global Union affiliates in Bangladesh,” indicates the letter.
The IBC had decided to form a regional committee in Chittagong because the region has a large number of RMG factories and the workers working in some of these factories are members of unions affiliated to federations, which constitute the IBC.
Thus, several leaders had gone to Chittagong to form this regional committee with representatives of the Chittagong federations.
“The Chittagong police did not allow the meeting to take place. On September 24, when the meeting was scheduled to take place at our BIGUF branch office in Chittagong, IBC Senior Vice President Salauddin Shapon received a phone call from Double Mooring Police Station indicating that the meeting could not take place, ”the letter said. .
The meeting was then moved to take place in the Kotwali Thana area on September 25.
The senior vice president again received a call from Kotwali Thana police stating that the meeting could not take place in that area either.
According to the letter, the CIB leader called the industrial police and the police department gave no positive response.
“What happened next was a serious violation of trade union rights. CIB decided to move the meeting to the BTGWL office in the Bandar Thana region. When the IBC leaders arrived at the office, police officers, some in civilian clothes, blocked the office door and did not allow anyone to enter, ”said Atle Høie.
The incident is a direct violation of ILO conventions guaranteeing freedom of association.
“This is also a serious intervention by the police in the activities of independent trade unions in Bangladesh, which is highly reprehensible,” he added.
In these circumstances, IndustriALL Global Union calls on the government of Bangladesh to investigate the matter immediately and ensure that the police, including the industrial police, do not interfere with the legitimate activities of unions across Bangladesh.