International Labour Organisation to propose labour law reform package

This follows last month’s garment factory collapse in Bangladesh, killing more than 600 people.

The International Labour Organisation, ILO, is set to propose labour law reforms to its special session and governing board for better “workers protection, and right to collective bargaining” at the session in June.

This comes under the heels of last month’s garment factory collapse in Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, where more than 600 people were killed.

A statement obtained from ILO’s website on Monday, said the body arrived at the decision for a labour law reform package after holding a tripartite meeting with the Bangladesh’s government, workers and employers.

The ILO and its partners will “assess by the end of 2013 the structural building safety and fire safety of all active export-oriented ready-made garment factories in Bangladesh”

“It will also initiate remedial actions, including relocation of unsafe factories,” the statement said.

Many western companies outsource their production to Asian countries for cheap labour. The move has been criticised globally given the poor working conditions the employees face. The EU and U.S. have threatened trade sanctions if Bangladesh government fail to improve health and safety conditions in its garment industry.

According to Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association, textiles contribute more than 10 per cent of Bangladesh’s gross domestic product and about 80 per cent of the nation’s exports, mainly to the U.S. and the EU.

Meanwhile, the ILO has tasked employers of labour on the need to safeguard work places in order to prevent a recurrence of such avoidable tragedies.

The ILO founded in 1919 has Freedom from discrimination in employment and occupation, Freedom from forced labour and child labour as its enabling rights.

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