TRADE UNION Table of content




Definition of Trade Union



Objectives of Trade Union



Types of Trade Union



Functions of Trade Union



Important of Trade Union



Reasons for joining Trade Union



Nature of Trade Union in Bangladesh



Weakness of Trade Union in Bangladesh



Suggestions for overcoming the weakness of Trade Union






Reference and Appendix



A trade union , labor union or labor union is an organization of workers who have banded together to achieve common goals such as protecting the integrity of its trade, achieving higher pay, increasing the number of employees an employer hires, and better working conditions. The trade union, through its leadership, bargains with the employer on behalf of union members (rank and file members) and negotiates labor contracts (collective bargaining) with employers. The most common purpose of these associations or unions is "maintaining or improving the conditions of their employment". This may include the negotiation of wages, work rules, complaint procedures, rules governing hiring, firing and promotion of workers, benefits, workplace safety and policies. The agreements negotiated by a union are binding on the rank and file members and the employer and in some cases on other non-member workers. Trade unions traditionally have a constitution which details the governance of their bargaining unit and also have governance at various levels of government depending on the industry that binds them legally to their negotiations and functioning. Originating in Europe, trade unions became popular in many countries during the Industrial Revolution, when the lack of skill necessary to perform most jobs shifted employment bargaining power almost completely to the employers' side, causing many workers to be mistreated and underpaid. Trade unions may be composed of individual workers, professionals, past workers, students, apprentices and/or the unemployed. A trade union or labor union is an organization of workers who have banded together to achieve common goals in key areas and working conditions. Trade Unions in view of Bangladesh Labor Act, 2006 SEC. - 175. Special definition of worker – Unless there is anything repugnant in the subject of context “worker” in this chapter connotes a worker defined in section 2 (65), and for the purpose of any proceeding under this chapter. According to the Bangladesh Labor Act, 2006, Workers/employers, without distinction whatsoever shall have the right to form trade union for the purpose of regulating the relations between workers and employers or workers and workers or employers and employers and, subject to the constitution of the union concerned, to join trade union of their own choosing.


Bangladesh Mukto Sramik Federation 8. activities vary.TRADE UNION [Sec: 176. work rules. firing and promotion of workers. Examples of some trade union in Bangladesh…… 1. rules governing hiring. IRO. the provision of professional training. Samajtantrik Sramik Front. often provided a range of benefits to insure members against unemployment. but may include: Provision of benefits to members: Early trade unions. Bangladesh Ganotantrik Sramik Federation 3. These organizations may comprise individual. Bangladesh Jatio Sramik League 4. ill health. 1969]. Bangladesh Jatyatabadi Sramik Dal 6. Bangladesh Free Trade Union Congress 2. Aside from collective bargaining. legal advice and representation for members is still an important benefit of trade union membership. Jatyo Sramik League 12. these functions have been assumed by the state. like Friendly Societies. Bangladesh Labor Federation 7. The agreements negotiated by the union leaders are binding on the rank and file members and the employer and in some cases on other nonmember workers. bargains with the employer on behalf of union members and negotiates with employers. The Bangladesh Labor Act. Over the last three hundred years. Bangladesh Trade Union Kendra 10. complaint procedures. old age and funeral expenses. In many developed countries. however. 2006 / Sec: 3. Bangladesh Jatiyo Sramik Jote 5. through its leadership. The trade union. workplace safety and policies. Jatio Sramik Federation 11. Bangladesh Sanjukta Sramik Federation 9. This may include the negotiation of wages. trade unions have developed into a number of forms. 4 . benefits.

etc. Trade unions as such were endorsed by the Catholic Church towards the end of the 19th Century. or financially support individual candidates or parties (such as the Labor Party in Britain) for public office. spoke against the atrocities workers faced and demanded that workers should be granted certain rights and safety regulations. where the rapid expansion of industrial society drew women. increase their wages thereby reducing inequality. but by no means only purpose of trade unions are maintaining or improving the conditions of employment. whose aim is to negotiate with employees overpay. increasing the number of employees an employer hires. undertake lobbying. and would later be an important arena for the development of trade unions. Political activity: trade unions may promote legislation favorable to the interests of their members or workers as a whole. and better working conditions. or profession.g. 5 A Short History of trade union: The origins of unions' existence can be traced from the eighteenth century. Pope Leo XIII in his 'Magna Carta': Rerum Novarum. many trade unions have developed into a number of forms. Over the last three hundred years. This pool of unskilled and semi-skilled labor spontaneously organized in fits and starts throughout its beginnings. influenced by differing political and economic regimes.-A group of employees in a particular sector.-An organized association of workers in a trade. The immediate objectives and activities of trade unions include protection and promotion of the interests of their members. Objectives of Trade Union: The most common. and immigrants to the work force in larger numbers and in new roles. working hours. the Nordic countries and the Philippines). achieving higher pay. formed to protect and further their rights and interests. trade unions may be invited to participate in government hearings about educational or other labor market reforms. job security.TRADE UNION Protection of workers: Unions prevent exploitation of workers. Industrial action: trade unions may enforce strikes or resistance to lockouts in furtherance of particular goals. In some countries (e. rural workers. To this end they may pursue campaigns. using the collective power of the members. children. group of trades. So Trade Union is an organization of workers who have banded together to achieve common goals such as protecting the integrity of its trade.. Regulating the relations between workers and employers or workers and workers or employers and .

discuss with management. The failure of an individual worker to seek solutions to problems. Pay. If an employee feels he is being unfairly treated. trade unions have increased the range of services they offer their . Unions also offer their members legal representation. unions are said to be recognized for collective bargaining purposes. In these organizations. led worker to form a formal group which is identified at present as trade union. the issues which affect people working in an organization. personal as well as organizational. retrenchment. Trade unions negotiate with the employers to find out a solution to these differences. but also by the management’s personal policies which include selection of employees for lay offs. he can ask the union representative to help sort out the difficulty with the manager or employer. working hours. the main objective of any trade union is to protect the interest of worker/employees in the organization. while discharging his duties. Normally this is to help people get financial compensation for work-related injuries or to assist people who have to take their employer to court. holidays and changes to working practices are the sorts of issues that are negotiated.TRADE UNION employers is another objective of trade unions. The evaluation criteria for such decisions may not be fair. the intervention of unions in such decision making is a way through which workers can have their say in the decision making to safeguard their interests. Voice in decisions affecting workers: The economic security of employees is determined not only by the level of wages and duration of their employment. In many workplaces there is a formal agreement between the union and the company which states that the union has the right to negotiate with the employer. Representation: Trade unions represent individual workers when they have a problem at work. Thus a trade union is meant to conduct negotiation on behalf of individual workers in respect of several items. So. Member Service: During the last few years. However. Thus. promotion and transfer. There may be a difference of opinion between management and union members. These policies directly affect workers. trade unions specifically concentrate their attention to achieve the following objectives: 6 Negotiation: Negotiation is where union representatives.

Thus. rest rooms. Ultimately the problem may be brought to the notice of management by the trade union and it explains about the injustice meted out to an individual worker and flights the management for justice. These include: 7 . the victimized worker may be protected by the trade union. like housing. Wages and salaries: The subject which drew the attention of trade union is wages and salaries. social security benefits and other welfare measure. -Legal assistance: As well as offering legal advice on employment issues.However. minimum working hours. holiday with pay. Some unions also help members who have left school with little education by offering courses on basic skills and courses leading to professional qualifications. etc. -Financial discounts: People can get discounts on mortgages. health and safety and other issues. dismissals. leave and rest. insurance and loans from unions. difference may arise in the process of their implementation. refreshment. drinking water. safety equipments while discharging hazardous duties. Discipline: Trade union not only conduct negotiation in respect of the items with which there working conditions may be improved but also protect the worker from the clutches of management whenever worker become the victims of management’s unilateral acts and disciplinary policies.Education and training Most unions run training courses for their members on employment rights. suspensions. . Working conditions: Trade union with a view to safeguard the health of worker s demand the management to provide all the basic facilities such as . some unions give help with personal matters. In such a situation the separated worker who is lift in a helpless condition may approach the trade union. This victimization may take the form of penal transfer. job satisfaction. wills and debt. Of course. sanitation.TRADE UNION members. In the case of unrecognized sector the trade union plays a crucial role in bargaining the pay and ventilation. this item may be related to policy matters .

Employee-employer relations: A harmonious relation between the employee and employer is a sine qua non for industrial peace. the difficulties of workers in respect of sanitation. Thus. quarters. trade unions are meant for the welfare of workers. Trade union by their effective working may achieve employee satisfaction.TRADE UNION Personnel policies : Trade union may fight against improper implementation of personnel policies in respect of recruitment. the bureaucratic attitude and unilateral thinking of management may lead to conflicts in the organization which ultimately disturb the relations between the workers and management. etc 8 Welfare: As stated earlier. selection. promotion. transfer. undertake lobbying. Industrial Action: Trade unions may enforce strikes or resistance to lockouts in furtherance of particular goals. trade union helps in reducing the rate of absenteeism. discipline and improve quality of work life. Trade union. through collective bargaining meetings. or financially support individual candidates or parties (such as the Labor Party in Britain) for public office. Political activity: Trade unions may promote legislation favorable to the interests of their members or workers as a whole. hospital. training. However. A trade union always strives for achieving this objective. labor turnover and developing systematic grievance settlement procedures leading to harmonious industrial relations. It may bring to the notice of management. being the representative of all the workers. consulting authority and cooperates in overcoming the personnel problems of workers. . Trade union work as a guide. school and colleges for their children’s cultural and social problems. Trade union can thus contribute to the improvements in level of production and productivity. To this end they may pursue campaigns. Safeguarding organizational health and interest of industry: Organizational health can be diagnosed by methods evolved for grievance redressal and techniques adopted to reduce the rate of absenteeism and labor turnover and to improve the employee relations. may carry out continuous negotiation with the management with a view to promoting industrial peace.

It is formed for the purpose of maintaining and improving the conditions of the working lives. --Protection from economic hazard. and above all lack of unity of the workers. Industrial unions-this union represents all workers in one industry with different skills 3. They are. White collar unions-this union represents special skills like engineer or something In Bangladesh trade union are categorized into those segment with example-- . --Rationalization of personnel policy -..g r e a t e r b a r g a i n i n g p o w e r (On economic and non-economic issues).TRADE UNION Why workers join Trade Union? Trade unions are like to play a vital role for its members in case of job losses. recognition and participation in organizational --policy. Why workers do not join Trade Union? Trade union is a continuous association of wage earners.(Job security).(peer/social/political pressure). But there may be some reasons that resist workers to join trade unions.lack of compelling reasons. continuous political influence and pressure. Craft unions-this union represents workers with a particular skill 2. Few reasons that motivate p e o p l e t o j o i n a t r a d e u n i o n a r e – . compulsion -. 9 Types of Trade Union: Generally There are 4 types of trade unions:1. General unions-this union represents workers with different skills 4. --And general mistrust of management.(Consistent treatment). or unfair labor practice or inappropriate working conditions that help workers to think for joining a trade union. corruption in unions. ---Steady employment -. mistrust of unions.

The reality is that whatever the structure of the trade union. trade unions attempt industrial agreements which cover the entire sector. Few craft unions have remained completely for a single craft and tend to become more multi-craft in a battle for economic survival and relevance.TRADE UNION Craft Unions The tendency towards the formation of craft unions has been strongest in countries such as the Bahamas and Trinidad and Tobago where skilled and trained workers were willing to develop unions on behalf of themselves. bargaining at the enterprise level is overwhelmingly the predominant pattern of the region.example”musicians .actors . Industrial Unions Like craft unions. Many of them are public sector unions. sugar. 10 Function of Trade Union: The functions of trade unions can be divided into the following categories… . as the different craft areas have encountered difficulties in modernizing periods.clerical staff . Some industrial unions in areas such as sugar and oil and dock work have suffered significantly as a result of technological changes.& transport worker. Example” National union of Teachers.example”unions of cleaners . General General or blanket unions which emerged from the early post-Second World War period continue to dominate the trade union scene in the sub. and except in periods of structural adjustment.&BD HRM firms. especially in supervisory and management positions. In some instances. who are yet to be organized into trade unions.BGMEA. industrial unions also depend on changes in the economy. White Collar White collar unions are some of the most vibrant and successful in Bangladesh. There are still many white collar workers in several areas in Bangladesh. such as in the hotel sector.continent.example”National union of miners . benefit from financial security as their members are generally able to pay union dues which are deducted from a central source. where different unions negotiate agreements with multiple employers in the same area. Several unions which started out as craft or industrial unions later expanded to include other types of members and have thus evolved to become general unions. Bangladesh has long negotiated enterprise agreements. and the public sector.

hike in wages. through collective bargaining and direct action such as strikes. gears.. like education the customers. Fraternal or extra-mural functions: These functions includes providing financial and nonfinancial assistance to workers during the period of strikes and lock outs. Trade union organizations. Industrial organizations 2. discharging social responsibilities through various sections of the society. each reinforcing and being reinforced by the other. Militant or protective or intra -mutual functions : These functions include protecting the workers’ interest. There are various functions in order to attain objectives of trade unions. These are functions relating to: 1. 3. etc 2. i. -To share profits with employees. seeking the help of political parties during the periods of strikes and lockouts 4.TRADE UNION 1 . Political functions : These functions include affiliating the union to a political party. -To develop positive attitude of management towards trade unions and improve their status in industry -To prevent unfair labor practices in industry. collecting donations. helping the political party in enrolling members. provision of social and religious benefits. Trade Union members 4. job security. 3. members and society. Society This classification is based on principles of interdependence between the industry. etc. extension of medical facilities during sickness and causalities. . organization of union. 11 Functions relating to Industrial Organization -To attain higher production quantitatively and qualitatively -To maintain discipline inside industry -Effective redressed of grievances and settlement of dissatisfaction and complaints. recreation. recreational and housing facilities..e. Social functions: These functions include carrying out social service activities. provision of education. providing more benefits. etc.

TRADE UNION -To enforce employer regarding implementation of statutory provisions beneficial to employees. joint consultation and voluntary arbitration -To raise social status of trade union member within industrial organization and society as a whole. -To create awareness among workers regarding their rights and duties. . -To facilitate communication between trade unions and its members -To prevent inter union rivalry and maintaining integrity of trade union movement. -To safeguard employees interest against all sort of exploitation by employers. -To eradicate various social evils from industry for example castism. by trade union members and by political parties. -To encourage cordial relations between employee and management by settlement of disputes through collective bargaining. joint agreements and voluntary arbitration and by avoiding third party intervention. -To create plans and policies in consonance with those of industrial organization and society at large. -To maintain industrial democracy. linguisim and regionalism from workplace -To prevent unfair labor practices -To prevent trade union from exploitation of personal and political interest -To prepare and maintain necessary records regarding meetings and other activities of trade unions -Scientific management of trade unions Functions relating to Trade Union members -Settlement of disputes through negotiations. 12 Functions relating to Trade Union organizations -Training of members regarding effective leadership.

-To encourage workers participation in management. The employees have realized that to protect themselves from exploitation. children and immigrants to the work force in large numbers. 13 housing facilities. This is one of the reasons why trade unions have become so important today. castiesm. -To ensure safe and hygienic working conditions Functions relating to Society -To develop positive public opinion regarding trade unions which will lead to their improved social status. Important of Trade Union: The origins of unions’ existence can be traced back to the 18th century. -To provide effective redressed of grievances and complaints of workers dissatisfaction. sexual harassment etc. we live in a world where workers have assumed great importance. and would later become an important place for the development of trade unions. Trade unions were also endorsed by the Catholic Church towards the end of the 19th Century. . unity is very important. The employers have started to realize the importance of workers. education facilities.TRADE UNION -To ensure improved standard of living by providing various social services like health measures. Today. Bosses around the world have recognized that the best way to resolve issues is by way of dialogue. co-operative societies etc. black marketing. The employees too have started to form Trade Unions to protect their interests. The pool of unskilled and semi-skilled labor spontaneously organized themselves in fits and starts throughout its beginning. regionalism. -To encourage public regarding government plans and policies and to mobilize peoples participation for their effective implementation in society at large -To encourage prevention of social evils like nepotism. recreation facilities. -Participation in programs of national development like family planning. a forestation. linguism. communalism. when the rapid expansion of industrial society attracted women. financial assistance during natural disaster etc.

Trade unions are a part of society and as such. that they are given breaks and lunch/dinner break in the work day. that it is equal pay for equal work. Trade unions also sometimes act as representatives of workers in case of legal matters. One case in the 1920's was a shirt factory where the workers were chained shut into the building and a fire broke out. that the employer follows state and federal regulations. The rights of the employees are better protected. that they are protected from discrimination or retaliation for reporting abuse/breaking the law. The workers couldn't get out of the building because the doors were locked. These things came about because many companies before unions (some still do without union workers) abused the workers.promoting and maintaining national integration by reducing the number of industrial disputes --incorporating a sense of corporate social responsibility in workers -. They make sure the worker is paid for the skills he or she has.TRADE UNION 14 Why are trade unions important? Labor unions protect the worker.achieving industrial peace Importance of Trade Unions: To Employees: Members of the union tend to have higher wages than non-unionized workers. that they are given health and other benefits. Some important social responsibilities of trade unions include: -. that they are given overtime if they work more than 8 hours. This results in higher levels of efficiency and improved productivity. For example. that work conditions meet a standard for providing for heat/cooling/bathrooms/drinking fountains/lunchrooms/break rooms. they cannot be unjustly removed from work. To Employers: Since the individual rights of workers are better protected and well represented. they have on the job safety. that they are protected from abuses by the employer. There have been cases where workers were not allowed to go to the bathroom by a supervisor and if they did they were fired. they tend to be motivated. have to take into consideration the national integration as well. .

Provide support for sector wide campaigns. Trade Unions are designed to help members to have their say. as the issues facing central London will be significantly different to those faced in Cumbria. A Trade Union will provide representation for tribunals and disciplinary actions. Trade Unions campaign at local levels. 1. 4. fishing.TRADE UNION Reasons for Joining a Trade Union: If you've wondered a Trade Union does and how it can help you. 2. 7. and not just particular regions. 3. working conditions. National campaigns affect all workers and cover subjects such as pensions. and ensure that the person representing you has the necessary experience. and provide legal services when required. From workers on an oil rig. Trade Unions provide support for regional campaigns. Sector wide campaigns affect a whole industry such as farming. Issues will differ from region to region. or Cornwall. Trade Union membership helps to get better pay and working conditions. and may affect all regions. A Trade Union will ensure that members are well supported 6. As these sectors are based country wide. and has your best interests at heart. By campaigning on behalf of members. 10. to workers in an office. and car manufacture. for members and government policy. trade unions are able to negotiate better pay and working conditions 9. just as a factory opening up or helping migrant workers looking for work. Trade Union membership helps to ensure job security. By combining members' opinions. as the union is able to voice its concern and campaign on behalf of its members. 15 . all employees have the right to safe working conditions and a disease free environment. Provide support for national campaigns. 8. then here are 10 ways in which a Trade Union can help you. employment law and much more. the message from the workers is stronger than just individual workers moaning and not complaining to management. and voice their opinions in a way that leaders and management will take note. This can save thousands of pounds. These campaigns could be in support of issues that affect a town. Equal rights for all workers are important to Trade Unions. issues will affect all workers. Trade Unions ensure that Health and Safety rules and regulations are adhered to. 5. Trade Unions also carry out research for new campaigns and policies.

5 5.6 32. The better course for him is to join a union that can take concerted action against the employer. Thus.4 18. Minimum wages The decisions regarding pay. 16 REASON Support if I have a problem at work Improved pay and conditions Most people at work are members I believe in trade unions Industrial benefits/services Financial services Other new member’s % 81.5 6.5 9. transfer.1 2. The personal relationships existing between the supervisor and each of his subordinates may influence the management.4 3.9 39. It is not practicable to continually resign from one job after another when he is dissatisfied. The threat or actuality of a strike by a union is a powerful tool that often causes the employer to accept the demands of the workers for better conditions of employment. promotion. he can leave the job. are highly subjective in nature. A trade . etc. The table below shows the result of a survey which looked at the reasons why people join trade unions and why they remain union members. there are chances of favoritisms and discriminations.0 15.3 The important forces that make the employees join a union are as follows: Greater bargaining power The individual employee possesses very little bargaining power as compared to that of his employer. This imposes a great financial and emotional burden upon the worker.5 42.2 7. If he is not satisfied with the wage and other conditions of employment.TRADE UNION Why Do People Join Trade Unions? The main reason people join trade unions is so that they can have better pay and working conditions and union protection if there is a problem at work.5 37. work.8 Members % 65.

ideas and opinions with others. On the other hand. They can also discuss their problem with’ the trade union leaders. an employee joins a union under group pressure. if he does not. It can also transmit the feelings. 17 Sense of security The employees may join the unions because of their belief that it is an effective way to secure adequate protection from various types of hazards and income insecurity such as accident. he often has a very difficult time at work. Sense of belongingness Many employees join a union because their co-workers are the members of the union. All the labor decisions of the management are under close scrutiny of the labor union. They can influence the decisions that are taken as a result of collective bargaining between the union and the management. Sense of participation The employees can participate in management of matters affecting their interests only if they join trade unions. The collective voice of the workers is heard by the management and give due consideration while taking policy decisions by the management. This has the effect of minimizing favoritism and discrimination. ideas. A trade union provides such a forum where the feelings. those who are members of a union feel that they gain respect in the eyes of their fellow workers. All of us wish to share our feelings. platform for self expression The desire for self-expression is a fundamental human drive for most people. etc. injury. illness. At times. . Similarly the workers also want the management to listen to them. The Lack of a compelling reason. unemployment.TRADE UNION union can compel the management to formulate personnel policies that press for equality of treatment to the workers. The trade union secure retirement benefits of the workers and compel the management to invest in welfare services for the benefit of the workers. opinions and complaints of the workers to the management. Unions help in betterment of industrial relations among management and workers by solving the problems peacefully. Betterment of relationships Another reason for employees joining unions is that employees feel that unions can fulfill the important need for adequate machinery for proper maintenance of employer-employee relations. ideas and opinions of the workers could be discussed. Why some workers do not join trade union? The Reasons are: 1.

Nature of Trade Union in Bangladesh: History  Trade union plays a significant role to protect workers rights in Bangladesh.  The private sector is less unionized and trade unions are practically banned from the Export Processing Zones (EPZ). The workers feel threatened and I . Education level of the workers is not in a satisfactory level. although only 3. 4. but most of the unions are limited to the public sector or statecontrolled enterprises. Most of the federations are financially weak and don't have in-house development programmes for the activists. The growth of modern industrial organizations involving use of modern technology and employment of workers has been followed by growth of trade unions throughout the world. They fear the corruption in Union. which mean that the loss of a job also leads to the loss of union membership  The trade unions are very strong in Bangladesh.Must obtain authorization from the government . They identify with management.The Registrar may also cancel the registration with Labor Court approval  In general. as the EPZ is exempted from certain labor laws. only current employees can be union members.  About 1. 3.8 million of the country's workers belong to unions.Unions must at least 30% of the workers representation of an enterprise . Actual scenario: Trade union movement is an offshoot of industrialization. Offices are not equipped with modern communication system. They distrust Union.5 percent of the workforce is unionized.  Trade union rights are not adequately protected in Law/Employers are not respected Labor Law or Trade Union Rights  The Bangladesh constitution provides for freedom of association. in order to register . out of a total workforce of approximately 58 million.TRADE UNION 18 2.

Hardly have they wanted to listen to the genuine grievances of workers. That applies to the Unions as well. transfer. one comes closer. The trade unions of Bangladesh are highly politicized. the factory.TRADE UNION am sure you will agree that whenever there is some fear or threat. They form themselves into groups and feel that they can then not only overcome that fear but also fight better for their welfare. lay-off. There is a dearth of knowledgeable union leaders. The leaders of trade unions are very much concerned about their own selfish interests rather than the interests of their followers. 5. . 1. Trade unions are subdivided into different parts. 8. Our trade unions are financially and structurally very weak to face the united strength of their employers. unions have become so strong that they affect every aspect of management. They are subordinated to different political parties. The workers have the fear of being obsolete because of the 19 increased use of technology. 2. Lack of proper knowledge about labor laws makes the leaders ineffective to safeguard the interests of workers vis –a –vis employers. Trade unions take part in different job related movements as well as political movements not related to their jobs. The emergence of trade unionism is spontaneous and inherent in the growth of capitalism. This phenomenon has not only been observed in advanced countries of the world. The leaders of trade unions are autocratic in their behavior. The origin of trade unionism lies in the industrial revolution. 7. Generally Trade Union Is An Organization Of Workers. 3. 4. It Is A Formed With A View To Improve The Condition Of Workers In The Organization And In Society And Also For Collective Bargaining With Management. top management cannot take unilateral decisions. 6. the mine and the industry. Their internal collision forbids them to unite and be stronger. Trade unions in Bangladesh are structurally very weak. but also in the developing economies like Bangladesh. In certain organizations. discharge. A Trade Union Bridges The Relationship Between Workers And Workers And Also Between Workers And Employers. etc. Management has to consult the union representatives while taking various decisions affecting labor such as wages. A trade union puts restriction on the discretion of employers for taking decisions involving welfare of employees. Please note that wherever a union exists. which disrupted the older way of life and created a new society forged by the shop.

The US government threatened to withdraw Generalized System of Preference (GSP) facilities if full-fledged trade union were not introduced while investors of the EPZ areas threatened to withdraw investment if that facility were given. while speaking about the bill said that the government had been in a dilemma for a couple of years over the issue of trade unionism in the EPZs. due to pressure from buyers and strong opposition from major investors. American Federation of Labor & Congress of Industrial Organization (AFL-CIO). The Minister of Law. the EPZ workers in the first phase will be able to form "labour representative and welfare committees" empowered to discuss and sign agreements with the owners to protect their (workers) interests. Before the trade union right is ensured. 2004” that allows formation of trade union bodies in the industrial units and establishments. Barrister Moudud Ahmed.TRADE UNION 20 Trade Union in Export Processing Zone (EPZ) Allowed Cotton Bangladesh Report The Parliament of Bangladesh has recently passed the muchtalked about “EPZ Trade Union and Industrial Relations Bill. According to the bill. 2006 but would not have any affiliation with political parties or their labour fronts. but will not be allowed to get involved with a body or federation outside the area or a political party or its labour front. Workers at EPZs will enjoy trade union right from November 1. There are six EPZs in Bangladesh that employs about 13. trade unions can be formed at an industrial unit in the EPZs if 30 per cent workers want it.6 million workers and is contributing a fifth of the country's total national export income. The associations . The workers' associations in an area can form a federation. US Ambassador in Dhaka and World Bank Country Director. The government reached its decision after holding numerous meetings with investors in the EPZs. Then the union will be formed if more than 50 per cent workers take part in a referendum and over 50 per cent of them votes for it. The trade association will run under a constitution incorporated in the act and the executive body will be formed through secret balloting. situated in the Export Processing Zones (EPZs) areas in the country. The body will be able to work as a collective bargaining agent (CBA).

But if its punished . Trade union has both positive and negative impacts on management. •Trade union is hugely helping the management to cope with the competition by motivating workers to produce more and implementing management tactics. When they think they have equal power of management then clashes are started. •Trade union is legal and it has the right to discuss with the management. So it becomes difficult to make any decision by consulting with the TU. • Trade union helps the management to make working environment more active which increases the productivity as well as the profit. only then they will maintain the working standard. •In companies labors are awarded for good work and threatened for bad work. •Political influence’s existence makes the trade union not to interfere in management decisions. That is why TU think about its power. The EPZ area was off-limit to trade union since its inception in 1980.TRADE UNION are not entitled to participate in any political activities. Trade unions negotiate for the standard wage and benefits with the management. •Trade union always helps management to create better policies for workers and to plan effective production targets. If don’t consult then they strike. •Labors are treated fairly. Impact of trade union on management in Bangladesh Every association has impacts in management. Negative impacts: • Trade unions creating more positions by the permission of management and appointing more than need of workers. The EPZs are regulated under the Bangladesh Export Processing Zones Authority Act. Positive impacts: •Trade union plays a major role in creating ideal working conditions. •T r a d e u n i o n o f B a n g l a d e s h b a r g a i n s m o r e t h a n t h e y u n d e r s t a n d because of the limitations of their knowledge. It creates pressure on 21 management to do a favorable roster for workers. 1980. It’s creating a surplus of manpower but not of productivity. It is the backend support of politics what is creating them more powerful.

It is a shock that only for difference in political view. And it is always communicated that management body did the wrong. In this case trade union could be helpful very much to develop workers KSA. in this country Trade Unions have a lot of unavoidable problems. don’t obey orders even set their compensations by their own. That is the reason they don’t know the favorable characteristics of trade unions. •Trade union leaders always try to save their interest first then the labor.TRADE UNION then trade union interfere and don’t let to happen the punishment. •For the power of politics trade union always dishonor the management. That is why in Bangladesh trade unions are not strong enough to complete the need of the economy. Some of those are discussed below: Lack of consciousness: The major numbers of members of trade union are not actually completely aware about their legal rights and duties. That is why they don’t feel the need or contribution of trade unions. But in Bangladesh trade unions are separated for political influence. For this the actual environment of . They don’t listen to them. Political leaders use the trade unions for illegal purposes. again trade unions are banged here. every industry has at least three major parts of a single union. Though it is a poor developing country. So this unethical performance creates conflict between TU and managerial body. Lack of knowledge: In our country the level of workers is not properly educated. 22 Problems and Weaknesses of Trade Unions in Bangladesh: Bangladesh is still known as a third world country. Workers is not properly educated. Lack of Unity: Trade union is actually a unity of the labor force for assuring their need. Political influence: The most powerful and deep affecting barrier for the growth of trade union of Bangladesh is its political environment. So it increases crime of the labors. but the whole level of workers is lack in knowledge. Most of the trade unions of Bangladesh are not free from the political influence. All is because of the sick environment of politics of Bangladesh. They don’t have enough knowledge about their rights and duties.

Hence. the workers employed through the contractors were not . They were unknown in rural and undeveloped areas. But. The employers of these few industries paid very low wages to the workers making their economic condition miserable. Division of trade union: B a n g l a d e s h i s a c o u n t r y w h e r e e v e r y organization has more trade unions in name only. there were only a few industries in the country. Small funds The absence of big funds was the. unfortunately. these organizations had restricted area of operation. The overall productivity got down. greatest weakness of the trade unions during this period. that too in the urban areas and in the organized sectors. Those unions are driven by the political leaders of various political parties. Limited membership Trade Unions were established in limited areas. Members of the unions were poor. the workers would get job through contractors. they never joined any trade union. Low wages During freedom struggle. Job through the contractors During the freedom struggle. Further. Small size of labor unions Large organizations were required to put pressure on the government. trade unions work a part of political 23 parties not as a free right saving association. most of the trade unions in Bangladesh were small which made them unable to put any significant pressure on the government. It was so because the migrated workers were not able to find work on their own. Hence. .TRADE UNION trade union is not seen in Bangladesh. In Bangladesh. Moreover trade union cannot play its role perfectly. The workers were unable to pay even the small membership fee for the trade unions. because the latter had the potential to suppress even larger organizations. Only three per cent of industrial workers were associated with the labor organizations. So a huge verity of problem arises in the organizations. They were concentrated only in industrial areas. That is why disputes are created and more division are created under different political wings. The poverty made them' unable to contribute significantly to the funds of their organization. The job contractors used to be the supporters of the factory owners.

all third world states are inefficient in terms of managing huge activities by various public wings. the two successive military regimes restrained labor protests by buying many radical and left labor leaders and by providing them lucrative state posts such as ministers and advisors. . physical and sexual harassments. nepotism and lootings. the workers in the RMG sector seldom address the labor issues using labor unions. The other two major apparatuses such as civil bureaucracy and political parties have immersed into corruption. Thus. very little evidence might be found where the state officials monitor the applications of labor laws and the ILO conventions. Major issues ranging from low wages. In Bangladesh.e. i. day-care. education for the workers’ children. According to Myrdal. They were not aware of their rights. we see that the state does not provide enough supports to the poor workers since the poor workers are powerless and have no voices. either by the state or by the owners.TRADE UNION able to participate in the labor movement. 24 Illiteracy Majority of the workers were illiterate. Although Bangladesh ratified various ILO conventions and although labor rights are vividly conceded in the constitution and other labor policies and documents. rather than by the civil society being common in the west. Although there is no bar. think. They did not even know how much they should be paid for the work they did. such as Ronaldo Munck. whose members seldom think about the welfare of the poor workers. etc have yet to be addressed in a telling manner. it is very important to identify the major constraints of labor movements in Bangladesh in the RMG sector in the era of globalization. The essence of ‘overdeveloped state’ is very similar to what Gunner Myrdal termed the third world states. The labor movement could hardly be expected to pick. worsening working and physical conditions of the factories. In reference to the labor rights of the poor workers. In a broad sense. The sector has also attracted a large number of unskilled rural women. housing. the labor unions in Bangladesh in the era of globalization have completely failed to address labor rights although the workers in this sector are ‘absolutely exploited’ by the owners as some social scientists. Bangladesh: Failure of the Trade Unions to Defend Workers Rights Stagnation of labor movements in the era of globalization The readymade garment industry has emerged as the main manufacturing sector in Bangladesh since the 1980s when the World Bank and other international agencies in cooperation with the local elites ushered in an export-oriented development policy in the third world. violations of labor law and ILO ratification is a very common thing. the notion of ‘soft state’. lack of welfare facilities such as healthcare.

These are as follows: •Strengthening bilateral collective bargaining for solving problems quickly and effectively. •Management must help and guide trade unions to settle industrial clashes and crisis. • The demand of trade union matters a lot to the economy. These steps must be taken in both public and private sectors. It is trade union who has control over the workers. for both the premature development of the educated middle class and civil society. It helps totally to stop strikes and rivals of workers.TRADE UNION In fact. •Political involvement must be reduced. i. Bangladesh is very younger. •Trade union’s function should be increased and widened throughout the organization. it has been found that the workers’ protest movements have been instigated by the repressions of the state and the private forces of the employers. •Workers are less knowledgeable. some suggestion or steps can be defined to improve and establish the real trade union culture in Bangladesh. no actions are taken against the owners even though concomitant violations of labor laws and ILO conventions have been a common phenomenon in all the private sectors 25 including the RMG industries. on many occasions. So it should follow some measurements in order to increase its stability o f economy. •Union leader must be given importance and encourage him many ways to play positive role in the union as his power implications. If demands are reasonable and real . It will help workers to work voluntarily for organizational growth. In the light of Japanese and western trade union concept. •Organization must support financially as trade unions support the worker it will change the motives of worker and will be more productive for company. productivity increases.e. Since the colonial regime. In fact. Suggestions: In the context of the world industry. A trade union without the control of politics only can be the way of all solution of the problems of management and worker. •Trust is a big asset of an organization. the poor workers do not get any moral supports. by the state police and hired thugs. valuable resources and pressures that might be acted otherwise as a pressure to the powerful state apparatuses and the employers on behalf of the working class. So it must be reduced. so training programs under trade union should be helpful to develop the skills of the workers. This is the job of an effective trade union. •Multiplicity of trade union creates the rivals in a union. If trust between workers and management increases.

fragmented unions. then a strike breaks out. the conflict between Margaret Thatcher and the . Data are available indicates fragmentation and contradiction in membership of employers and workers organizations. In Britain. highly coordinated bargaining accompanied by higher rates of unionization can contribute to positive economic trends. data on membership does not reflect the role these organizations play in political and socio-economic processes and institutions. Several studies of the World Bank and ILO support the view that freedom of association and collective bargaining contribute to improving economic and trade performance and have found no negative correlation. empirical data show that the experience is far from satisfactory. But if it is not. Suggestions for Healthy growth of Trade Unions in Bangladesh by overcoming weakness and limitations… •One Union per Industry •Paid Union Officials •Development of Internal Leadership •Recognition of Trade Unions •Improved Financial condition 26 Conclusion: The industrial relation system is pre-dominantly confrontational in nature rather than cooperative in Bangladesh. It is characterized by the predominant position of informal economy. One can remember the role of Solidarnosc in Poland for bringing communism down. The promotion of independent trade unions and collective bargaining can contribute to political and social stability and consequently create more favorable climate for foreign investment. So trade unions always should demand reasonable thing to the management.TRADE UNION then it should be worked out. Rather. Although in recent times the rate of unionization has increased in the RMG sector. rise of the service sector and increasing flexible types of employment relationships. France for example. trade union affiliation is low in Bangladesh compared to many other developing countries. The main reasons for this are the fall in employment in previously highly organized sectors. However. Moreover. weak labor institutions. Trade unions have an important role to play in settling disputes between workers and management over wages by way of collective bargaining. lack of enforcement of labor laws and conflict ridden employer-employee relations. 2. There is no conflict.IRC. Article Source: http://EzineArticles. TRADE UNIONS IN BANGLADESH AND ITS IMPACT Submitted By:Md.VAT. Zia / 01817528067. but they used politics to create a better solution.shaila Islam(Advocate & amp. 7.php#ixzz2NuFaOnVo 5. Bangladesh should also start practicing like Japanese trade union which has a single union for single enterprise. http://socyberty. In Bangladesh politics in trade union is being used as a weapon of 10. Canada.Trade This article (Stagnation of labor movements in the era of globalization) is a section of a paper presented at the United Association for Labor Educators Conference at the National Labor College in Maryland.TRADE UNION miners’ union in the late 1970s was a major political event. Research & Education Secretary Bangladesh Textile & Garment Workers League (BTGWL) . 12. All the developing countries trade unions were influenced politically.Trade Mark. is presently a doctoral candidate and an instructor the University of Calgary. no unfair means and no strikes in productivity and the growth of the overall economy. rather than a simple industrial dispute.ERC] 11.Teacher http://www. Bangladesh Institute of Management (BIM) sarfarazbim@gmail. 27 Reference: 1.Read more: The importance of trade unions | Law 8. Omar Faruq Chowdhury -045 12601 Submission Date: 28th November 2012. 11. an associate professor of sociology at Dhaka University.40 pm 3. Legal Associates)About Company Law Matter[Company Registration. US.. A K M Ashraf Uddin.. 9.TIN.lawteacher.Follow us: @lawteachernet on Twitter | LawTeacher Net on Facebook 6. The list of trade unions and union federations by country IS Preferred in July 2011. A Article from Associate Management Counselor. For useful Documents like this and Lots of more Educational and Technological Stuff visited Visit.

openblogbd...R. www.scribd.. London. ed. www.php?. Level – 28 15. 2009 17./trade-unions-needed-for-Bangladesh-r. Dhaka – 1205.. May 23.thedailystar. 16. 2013 › Creative Writing › Short Stories Jul 2.wordpress.php?nid=114450 Nov 18. 2010 19. Fax: +880 2 8622534 Email: mukut.. 107 Bir Uttam C.thefinancialexpress-bd. ISBN 0-9543811-5-7. www.. 2012 18. UK: John Harper . F Haque Tower. Feb 6. ICTUR et 14. Bangladesh Phone: +880 2 9673851.TRADE UNION 13.. (2005).decent@yahoo.10648%3Atrade-union-in-banglade. Datta Trade Unions of the World (6th ed.

Bangladesh Institute of Labor Studies-BILS is the only labor institute of the country. employing around 2. and violent aggression from company thugs and police. The minimum salary.TRADE UNION Appendix: Bangladesh Institute of Labor Studies-BILS Established in 1995. Trade union rights in practice and violations in 2008: Background: On 17 December. Keeping in view to build up a just and democratic society. remained frozen throughout 2008. The International Labor Organization (ILO) condemned Bangladesh for its continuing failure to provide full trade union freedoms and for permitting serious violations of ILO Conventions.069. last fixed in 2006 at US$25 per month.263.2 million workers. mostly women. The Bangladesh government blamed ‘outsiders’ for worker unrest in the garment sector. Bangladesh lifted its two-year-old state of emergency.149 5. The country has some 4000 garment factories. strikes. and sit-ins. research and information sharing. It also plays a catalyst role in bridging trade unions. enabling the workers organizations to play appropriate role as a major force BILS emphasizes on capacity building of the Trade Unions through training. less than two weeks ahead of parliamentary elections. cheating on overtime pay. late payment of wages. In the absence of any legal framework to resolve work-related issues. Protecting workers rights is the main objective Categories Total number unions/federations 32 108 26 of Number of unions included Nuermb of members 29 National federation Industrial federation Garments federation Basic union 1.614 of BILS and it strives to promote just and worker friendly policies and laws in Bangladesh. As an apex organization. civil society and the government on labor market issues. 13 major National Trade Union Federations are associated with BILS. unannounced plant closures. Workers faced inhumane treatment.242 - 2.665 640. workers resorted to street demonstrations.221 50. BILS endeavors to uphold the causes of working people and trade unions of Bangladesh.264 721 80 1. .



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