Staff Correspondent: The historic May Day will be observed today in the country and elsewhere across the world in a befitting manner.
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.
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 Oikyo Gori, Smart Bangladesh Gorey Tuli’ (Let us forge worker-owner unity and build smart Bangladesh). President Mohammed Shahabuddin and Prime Minister
Sheikh Hasina yesterday issued separate messages on the eve 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 gave state recognition to the ‘May Day’ after independence, the head of the state said, adding that he declared May Day a public holiday.
Bangabandhu set up a wage commission to ensure fair rights of the workers and he also announced a new salary structure for the workers, Shahabuddin 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, he said.
Through the positive and progressive participation of workers and employers, stability and productivity in the labor sector will be enhanced, he hoped.
The underlying significance of the Great May Day is closely connected with the rights, interests and welfare of the working people, Shahabuddin mentioned.
He hoped that everyone will take responsibility in their respective fields to improve their living standards and protect their rights.
There is no alternative to ensuring the overall rights including improved working environment, good labor-employer relations, professional safety and well-being of workers in building a developed and smart Bangladesh by 2041, Shahabuddin added.
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, the premier said.
The present Awami League-led government is implementing various activities for the development and welfare of the working people of the country, she said.
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 added.
Bangladesh Workers Welfare Foundation has been formed to ensure the welfare of workers working in different sectors of the country, Sheikh Hasina continued.
As part of the efforts to ensure a decent work environment for workers, the ‘National Occupational Health and Safety related Research and Training Institute” is being constructed in Rajshahi, she said.
She said 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.
Financial assistance was provided to unemployed and distressed workers in the export-oriented garment and leather goods and footwear industries due to the outbreak of COVID-19, she said.
She believed that all workers and employers will maintain good relations and devote themselves to increase national production being imbued with the ideals of the great May Day.
“We will build the developed and prosperous golden Bangladesh as dreamt by the father of the nation through the welfare of the working people and the overall development of the country, Insha Allah,” she added.
Both the president and the premier wished all programmes undertaken on the occasion of the ‘Great May Day-2023’ a success.
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