UNI raises concerns over anti-union actions at Banglalink
UNI Global Union has written to Banglalink, the second largest mobile network in Bangladesh, to express its deep concern over recent events at the company, which left a union officer in hospital, another dismissed, and all of the company’s offices temporarily closed.
The unlawful firing of a Banglalink Employees Union activist by the company last week following the new union’s application for registration with labour authorities led to widespread protests by workers and demands for his reinstatement.
Later, the union’s Organising Secretary, was hospitalised, triggering further protests that resulted in company offices being temporarily closed down.
UNI Global Union General Secretary Philip Jennings wrote to Banglalink CEO Erik Asas calling for swift action.
“UNI Global Union calls upon you to immediately reinstate the dismissed union activist, and urges the company to refrain from any further actions that would delay or impair the lawful formation of the union,” the letter read.
“Workers freedom of association and the right to organise are fundamental rights guaranteed by both Bangladeshi labour law and the International Labour Organisation’s Convention 87, to which Bangladesh is a party.”
UNI Global Union received news on February 11th that Banglalink had abruptly dismissed a union activist, just four days after management spoke out against the formation of the new union, saying that it will “hamper the company’s future success.” The dismissal went against Bangladeshi labour law which states that the employment status of a union member cannot change while and application for union registration is under way.
UNI Global Union has received no response from the company.