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ACT Bangladesh Interim Dispute Resolution Mechanism on workers’ rights to Freedom of Association and due payment of wages and benefits


ACT has been actively engaged in Bangladesh since 2020, coinciding with the COVID-19 pandemic. Through collaborative efforts, working closely with the BGMEA (Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association), trade union representatives and ACT members a series of agreements have been reached, addressing critical issues such as fabric liabilities, collective information gathering on wage and severance payments and the establishment of an Interim Dispute Resolution Mechanism (DRM).

Since its launch in November 2020, the Interim DRM has played a vital role in addressing grievances related to workers’ rights, particularly pertaining Freedom of Association, retrenchment and due payment of wages and benefits. A total of 105 cases have been received since its inception, with 92 cases (87.62%) deemed eligible and processed.

Among the processed cases, 55.3% involved disputes over wages and benefits. 40.2% were related to retrenchment and 6.5% related to disputes over Freedom of Association rights.

The Interim DRM has demonstrated success with 67.4% of all eligible cases already resolved, 9.8% partially resolved, and the remaining 22.8% still in process.

Analysing the resolved cases by issue, 77.08% of all wages and benefits disputes, 60.1% of retrenchment cases and 50% of Freedom of Association cases have been fully resolved.

All data is accurate as of 17.08.2023. This data is constantly changing as new cases are submitted and cases resolved.

Cases are categorised based on the proposed terms of remedy in the submitted complaint i.e, if the original request was for reinstatement, but the case was resolved through some form of remuneration, this is categorised as a successfully resolved retrenchment case.

The Interim DRM has been funded since December 2022 by the Initiative for Global Solidarity (IGS) implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH supportedby the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).