Tannery workers demand decent working conditions, scope for growth

The tannery workers demanded a better working environment in the hub of tannery industries at Savar and a dedicated hospital for the treatment of diseases caused by occupational hazards in the tannery.

They said the absence of a dedicated hospital for immediate treatment exacerbates situations, leaving workers to bear various long-term sufferings.

The demand came from a joint consultation meeting among the Tannery Workers Union (TWU) and Bangladesh Labour Rights Journalists Forum, held in a hotel at Dhanmondi in Dhaka on Monday.

The workers also alleged that lack of regulations, a minimum requirement of labour rights including appointment letters, decent work environments, medical facilities, housing, and recreational activities are absent.

Though these requirements are essential for ensuring the productivity and well-being of labour in export-oriented industries, absent due to the lack of direct regulation by the state.

Furthermore, the lack of residential facilities, schools, and other facilities workers are forced to travel daily from Hazaribag to Savar Tannery Estate, wasting four to five hours on the way, they said.

Despite being the second-largest foreign currency earning sector, most of the workers miss the opportunity for skilled development due to inadequate training institutions. To address this issue and to cope with the automation systems, workers are now demanding a training centre to improve their skills.

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