[Dhaka Correspondent] Interim cabinet Tuesday extended the workers’ right to trade unionism in export processing zones (EPZ) up to October 31, 2010. Council of advisers at a meeting in the Chief Adviser’s Office approved a proposal for the amendment to EPZ Workers and Industry Relations Act 2004 extending the trade union rights of workers by two years from October 31, 2008, sources attending the meeting said. According to the act, trade union rights of the workers in the EPZs would expire on October 31, 2008.
Chaired by the chief adviser, Fakhruddin Ahmed, the meeting also approved in principle a draft of the Building Construction (Amendment) Ordinance, 2007 to make further amendments to the Building Construction Act 1952.
Under mounting pressure from the US government for allowing the workers to form trade unions, increasing labor standards, the parliament on July 18, 2004 enacted the EPZ Workers and Industry Relations Act. EPZ law allows trade unions to be in force from November 1, 2006 to October 31, 2008.
Advisers to the government, the cabinet secretary and officials concerned also attended the meeting.