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Bagladeshi Free Trade Zones workers in struggle

6. February 2004

Two days EPZ Workers National conference have finished on 31st January. Workers from Dhaka EPZ, Chiatagong EPZ, Mongla EPZ and Nilfamari EPZ participated in the conference.From the conference, to address the issue, problem and demands of the EPZ workers a national platform have formed on 31st January. Pls see the news from our national daily English newspapers.

In solidarity
Amirul Haque Amin


The speakers at a conference yesterday demanded allowing of formation of trade union in the export Processing Zones (EPZs).Eminent lawyer Dr Kamal Hossain attended the inaugural ceremony of tow-day long conference organised for the workers of Export Processing Zones (EPZ) as chief guest, while the organising leader of National Garments Workers Federation (NGWF) Amirul Haque Amin presided the function held at Jatiya Press Club in the city. The conference was inaugurated by leader of the federation Shafiqur Rahman, while President of Karmajibi Nari Shirin Akhter, former General Secretary of Metropolitan Bar Advocate Abed Raza, Kazi Mohammad Ali, Shahida Sakar and other workers leaders from four EPZs of the country also spoke on he occasion. The conference also condemned reducing of pay scale of the workers to USD 22 as lowest and USD 63 as highest instead of USD 25 and USD 70, which was fixed by Bangladesh Export Processing Zone Authority (BEPZA) in the October 1, 1993. They also demanded re-implementation of all facilities provided by NEPZA to the EPZs. The speakers also demanded to ease the Rules of Origin method to the European Community for Bangladesh to avoid the possible disaster would arisen after facing out of Multi fibre Arrangement (MFA) in 2005. They also demanded free access of garment products to USA as earlier.

The Independent
Saturday, January 31,2004
(The Daily Star, The Bangladesh Observer, The Financial Express, The New Nation, New Age: January 31,2004 )



The Two-day first national conference of EPZ workers concluded yesterday with formation of an organisation styled ” EPZ WORKERS CENTER, Bangladesh” in order to establish workers rights and coordinate movements. A 21-member Central Steering Committee was formed to lead the EPZ Workers Centre with Amirul Haque Amin as President and Majibur Rahman Pintu as General Secretary. The inaugural session of the first ever conference of EPZ workers in Bangladesh was held at the auditorium of the National Press Club on Friday. Hundreds of EPZ workers mostly women attended the conference. Internationally reputed jurist Dr Kamal Hossain attended the ceremony as chief guest while president of National Workers Federation Shahfiqur Rahman Majumder inaugurated the fete. Amirul Haque Amin, General Secretary. National Garment Workers Federation (NGWF), which sponsored the conference, presided over the function. The conference strongly demanded the introduction of trade union in the EPZ. It demanded of the BEPZA (Bangladesh Export Processing Zone Authority) for re fixing the wages commensurate with the marker price of essentials and ensure the implementation of all other facilities. The conference urged the US Administration to give duty free access to Bangladeshi products in US marker, which is enjoyed by almost 72 countries. It also urged upon the USA and the European Union to relax Rules of Origin compulsion for garment exports from Bangladesh as it is a least developed country.

The New Nation, February 1,2004