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Government to sign international cooperation agreement for workers’ rights in the textile industry
Sweden, Bangladesh and the International Labour Organisation (ILO) will sign a cooperation agreement at a meeting in New York today, aimed at improving the conditions of workers in the textile industry in Bangladesh and promoting union rights.
Prime Minister Stefan Löfven will participate, together with Minister for International Development Cooperation Isabella Lövin, who will sign the agreement on behalf of Sweden. The project is part of A Global Deal – Mr Löfven’s initiative to promote better conditions for workers throughout the world.
“It is in everyone's interests that union rights are respected and decent working conditions upheld. The workers win more influence and participation in their workplace. Employers get better qualified staff and can increase their productivity. Society escapes costs for ill health, fatalities and social conflicts. It’s a matter of making sure that competition takes place on equal terms and human rights are respected,” says Mr Löfven.
“We are proud to be working with Bangladesh and the ILO to strengthen workers’ rights in a vulnerable industry in which 80 per cent of those employed are women. This project will put women in a stronger economic position and improve their working conditions,” says Ms Lövin.
The project will involve an investment of SEK 45 million, to be funded by Sweden and implemented by the ILO between 2015 and 2020. It is expected to result in better dialogue between employers and employees, and better negotiating and dispute resolution mechanisms in the labour market. Four million people work in the textile industry, the overwhelming majority of whom are women. Their interests will be at the heart of the project.
Other participants in the signing ceremony are Secretary Mikhail Shipar of the Ministry of Labour and Employment of Bangladesh and ILO Director-General Guy Ryder, who welcomes the project as a very valuable contribution.
A Global Deal will be discussed in New York in the presence of the Foreign Minister of Bangladesh, the Director-General of the ILO and the Secretary-General of the OECD. The discussion will focus on how states, trade unions, employers and international organisations can take joint responsibility for promoting good working conditions.