The Financial Express

Rights group demands marginalised workers’ protection amid virus outbreak

FE Online Report | Published: April 01, 2020 18:23:59 | Updated: April 01, 2020 19:50:20

Rights group demands marginalised workers’ protection amid virus outbreak

Expressing deep concern, local right groups on Wednesday called on the government to stand besides all marginalised workers including informal and low-income ones amid the Covid-19 outbreak.

Although Bangladesh has taken necessary measures, it needs to address the vulnerability and helplessness of informal and low income workers, said the group in a statement.

The group consists of labour leaders from about 10 federations under the name of International Trade Union Confederation-Bangladesh Council (ITUC-BC).

The government has announced Tk 50 billion fund for the workers of readymade garment (RMG) sector to pay wages of the workers, the statement said.

“But the highest number of workers who are under informal sector needs to bring under such coverage,” it added.

 Apart from this, casual workers in hospitals, ambulances, laboratories, transport workers, sanitation and municipality workers and other related workers who are providing service during the virus outbreak must be protected, demanded ITUC-BC.

Ensuring livelihood security for the informal workers including the self-employed ones is needed at this time.

“The government should issue a notification to contractors/employers, private sectors for the timely payment of the workers,” said the group.

Support should be provided from the Workers' Welfare Foundation to construction, domestic, porters, sales persons, small transport workers, day labourers, home-based workers and hawkers etc, it suggested.

“This is an issue of millions of workers and industries. Therefore, labour movement should work with the government and owners together to fight COVID-19,” it mentioned.

Earlier, the government declared a 10-days holiday effective from March 26 to April 4, which on Tuesday was extended till April 11.


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