Bangladesh Day 3

With the VSO team

After a good night’s sleep and a breakfast that included the weirdest jam I’ve ever tasted I spent the rest of the day meeting the project team at SAFE and Bertram the VSO worker, to discuss progress on the project to improve conditions of workers in the shrimp processing business. Despite the introduction of a Labour Law in 2006 women continue to be paid less than men for the same work, workers continue to be paid below the minimum wage, don’t receive contracts of employment and miss out on holiday pay, overtime and maternity pay.

After the briefing we sat down to discuss our programe of meetings and what questions we needed to put to DFID, the Ministry of Labour and Employment, and the European Commission when we return to Dhaka, as well as for the local meetings with the Labour Organisation and crucially the Bangladesh Frozen Fish Exporters Association. Given that a number of workers have recently been sacked for forming trade unions, this should be a particularly interesting meeting, especially given that the BFFEA  had previously voiced no opposition to the unions being set up!

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