The historic May Day is being observed on Sunday in the country and elsewhere across the world with due respect.
The day is being observed across the globe since 1886 commemorating the supreme sacrifices of the workers at Hay Market, Chicago, in the USA for eight-hour working day and upholding the rights of the working people, reports BSS.
To press home their demands, working people had to sacrifice their valuable lives in tragic bomb attacks and police atrocities on May 1, 1886 and the following days.
This year’s theme of the day is ‘Sramik-Malik Ekota, Unnayanaer Nishchoyota’.
President M Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday issued separate messages on the occasion of the historic May Day.
They extended their greetings to all working people of the world, including Bangladesh, wishing success of all programmes on the occasion.
In his message, the president said Father of Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman had fought for the rights of hard-working people throughout his life.
Bangabandhu was a true friend of working people and therefore, after independence, ‘May Day’ received state recognition and he declared May Day a public holiday, he added.
Bangabandhu set up a wage commission to ensure fair rights of the workers and he also announced a new salary structure for the workers, Hamid said.
In 1972, under the initiative and strong leadership of Father of Nation, Bangladesh became a member of the International Labor Organization (ILO) and ratified 29 conventions, including 6 core conventions of the ILO, which is a rare occurrence, the head of the state said.
The article 14 of the constitution of Bangladesh promises to ensure the fundamental rights of all citizens and to free the peasants and workers from all forms of exploitation, he continued.
In order to survive in today’s competitive world, he said, the government needs to be more dedicated to increasing factory production by maintaining good relations between workers as well as owners.
He urged all development partners, including the government and workers-owners, to work together to ensure the welfare of the workers.
Hamid also expressed his optimism over happening prosperity of the country including industry and trade by protecting the interests and establishing the rights of the working people on the great May Day.
In her message, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said, Father of Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman formulated a labor policy in 1972 with the aim of establishing a society free from exploitation.
He strengthened the country’s economy and ensured the fair rights of the workers by nationalizing the abandoned mills, she said.
The present Awami League led government is implementing various activities for the development and welfare of the working people of the country, she added.
Bangladesh Labour (Amendment) Act, 2018 has been enacted by updating and modernizing the Bangladesh Labor Act to ensure safe working environment, social security and workers’ welfare by maintaining goodwill and good relations between employers and workers, the premier said.
Bangladesh Workers Welfare Foundation has been formed to ensure the welfare of workers working in different sectors of the country, Hasina continued.
Hostels for working women are being built for women workers in different parts of the country, she said, adding that equal wages for women workers in the workplaces have been ensured and two multi-storied working women’s hostels have been constructed at Kalurghat in Chattogram and at the port of Narayanganj to ensure safe accommodation for women workers.
To address the pandemic situation, the government has taken all possible measures, including the distribution of relief to the working people, she added.
Under the Department of Labour, the social safety net programme is continued to provide financial benefits to unemployed and distressed workers for 3 months at the rate of Taka 3 thousand per month as COVID-19 outbreak made a adverse impact on export-oriented apparel and leather goods and footwear industries, she said.
The Ministry of Labour and Employment has taken elaborate programmes to observe the day.
Marking the day, the Ministry of Labour and Employment and its subordinate departments, offices, agencies and leaders of various labor organizations led by State Minister for Labour and Employment Begum Monnujan Sufian will pay tributes to Father of Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman by placing wreaths at his portrait in city’s Dhanmondi Number-32 area.
Meanwhile, a discussion will be organized at Bangabandhu International Conference Center (BICC) at 10 am on May 8. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will join it virtually as the chief guest.
State Minister for Labour and Employment Begum Monnujan Sufian will preside over it.
Other programmes include publishing souvenirs, special supplements in national dailies, holding Television (TV) talk shows, displaying TV scroll-messages, showing TV documentaries, making awareness videos, delivering text messages on mobiles and decorating road islands.
Besides, various programmes have been taken up including organizing social media campaigns and health camps.