Monday, January 21, 2019 | ePaper

Historic May Day and some important questions

  • Print


Kazi Liakat Hossain :
The historic May Day is being observed today throughout the country and elsewhere in the world as a mark of respect to workers, who shed their blood for the establishment of the rights of the working class in 1886. On this day 131 years ago, the workers of the Hay Market of Chicago City, U.S.A sacrificed their lives for ensuring eight hour working day for them. Since then, the day is observed all over the world as the day of solidarity with working people.
Three years later, the Second Socialist International Paris decided to designate May 1 as the day for expressing solidarity of working people in memory of Hay market martyrs. A number of countries around the world observed the day as National Holiday with rallies and meetings.
The new major step in the labour front was the establishment of International Labour Organization (ILO) three decades after the decision to observe May Day internationally.
The ILO was established in 1919 to promote social justice for working class everywhere. It formulates international policies and programmes to help improve working and living condition, creates international labour standards to serve as guidelines for national authorities in putting those policies in action. The problems of labour and consciousness about labour rights did not come over night. In fact, the history is as old as civilization. At the beginning, everyone worked with one's own hands. The society came to divide between the rich and poor representing the exploiter and the exploited. The exploited humanity gradually turned into slaves.
They were put to hard labour and labour looked down upon. At one stage slavery was formally abolished, but vestiges remain. The dignity of labour is yet to be fully restored. The labour movement has a proud heritage in Bangladesh. The country is a signatory to the ILO convention and has a number of legislations for labour welfare. The government is also keen on improving lot of working class and their concern extends even to spheres, where the labour is not organized. Self-styled labour leaders particularly after the emergence of Bangladesh have sprung up only for the lip service of the labour force.
On this great day some searching questions haunt the minds of those who really feel for the just causes of the working class. Why extraneous elements have found place as representatives of the labour class?
Why and how they seized opportunity to create a place of there own outstripping the leaders from their own work place? Why bargaining agents failed to occupy their rightful position and are not representing the workers? Why the government in the past fiddled with fate of helpless lot by creating more than one union? What is the achievement of the government in creating confidence and restoring industrial peace harmony?
The answers to all these questions are negative. The questions need to be answered. The four party Alliance Government closed down the biggest Adamjee jute Mills, their workers have been made totally jobless. This decision of the past Government was unwise and it was criticized by the conscious people of the country. Labour management relations are at its lowest ebb. Let the workers representative emerge from the same work-place instead of borrowed leadership. This concept must be changed for the restoration of congenial environment conductive to uninterrupted operation of all industrial establishments. The labour unions in most of the cases have become unreasonable and come up with fantastic demands only to help in the closure of the units. It must be understood that better employer employee relations can only ensure productivity and welfare of the workers.
They can not always think in terms of agitation, strikes and gherao-jalao tactics ingrained into their minds by a section of labour representatives who are acting at the behest of vested quarters only to cause industrial break down in our country. The wages invariably have to be linked with productivity and the demand for higher wages cannot reasonably be pressed without increasing output.
The working atmosphere has to be made conducive, peaceful for women workers too. The efforts to remove economic and social causes for swelling number of Child labour have to be identified. Corruption in labour directorate has to be handled very seriously.
The Savar disaster jolted the country and the world also. In our country the poor labours are always neglected, they don't have their wages properly and timely.RMG workers should be given their rights to open trade union in all sectors. To stop this type of disaster particularly in the Garment sector steps should be taken immediately. Garment owners must follow the government's building code. If anybody violates the code, he should be brought to book.
In fine, it is our earnest appeal to government and world community labour unrest in Bangladesh should be brought under control by paying their dues regularly and timely.

- The writer is a columnist, national english dailies

More News For this Category

Thoughts on English New Year's Day

Thoughts on English New Year's Day

Professor Dr. Anwarul Karim :IntroductionJanuary 1, the English New Year's Day once again dawns on earth's diurnal course. The day shines with a jovial mood of greeting the New

The Gregorian calendar

Brad Plumer :Back in 1582, Pope Gregory XIII decreed that the 10 days following October 4 simply wouldn't exist. The next day would be ... October 15. Thereafter, a

New Year's Day : History and celebration

New Year's Day : History and celebration

Mohammad Mamun Mia :New Year's Day is the first day of the New Year, following both the Gregorian and the Julian calendar. This Day is often marked by fireworks,

Liberation  War and our glorious Victory Prof. Dr. Anwarul Karim

Liberation War and our glorious Victory Prof. Dr. Anwarul Karim

Introduction :Bangladesh today celebrates the 48th Victory day with pomp and grandeur after the country was liberated from the hands of the Army Junta of Pakistan led by infamous

Victory Day of Bangladesh

Great Victory of Bangladesh was achieved after a nine   month long War of sacrifice of lives and property. The day is celebrated to commemorate the Victory of the allied

Independence, how this word became ours

Nirmalendu Goon  A poem will be written.The rebel-audience of millions have been waiting in the park-shore of the ocean of people, with eager excitement-since the morning:'When shall the poet

Our struggle and Victory

Our struggle and Victory

December 16, Victory Day is a red letter day in the history of Bangladesh. Our celebration commemorates the victory of the allied forces over the Pakistani forces in the

Suhrawardy and his Democratic vision

Suhrawardy and his Democratic vision

 The world today, (December 5, 2018), more particularly, the whole of Indian sub-continent, comprising the present India, Bangladesh and Pakistan mournfully observes the 55th death anniversary of Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy,

H.S. Suhrawardy : Leader of the people

Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy played a pivotal role in establishing democracy in the Indian Subcontinent. He was born into an eminent Muslim family in Midnapore in the then Bengal (now part

Messenger of mercy : Prophecy of Buddha

Abdul Muqit Chowdhury :Hazrat Muhammad (Sm) is the final Messenger of Allah Rabbul 'Alameen. He (Prophet) is Rahmatullil 'Alameen-blessing for all the creatures of the universe. Thus, Allah being