The tripartite review committee, consisting of government, factory owners, and worker representatives, proposed amendments to the Labor Act aimed at easing the formation of trade unions. The suggested measures include reducing the required percentage of workers’ signatures to form trade unions from 20% to 15% and eliminating the prerequisite of having at least 3,000 workers for union formation. These proposals were submitted to the Ministry of Labor and forwarded to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for consideration.
Labor Ministry officials anticipate that if the amendments are passed, forming trade unions will become more accessible. However, some labor leaders argue that the amendments do not adequately simplify the process. Additionally, there’s a proposal to eliminate the need for detailed worker information for union formation, while factory owners may be required to provide information about the number of workers within 15 days upon request.
Moreover, the proposed amendment suggests increasing fines for factory owners in cases of illegal lockouts. The President returned the amended legislation unsigned, prompted by increased penalties for workers without corresponding increases for factory owners.