Supporting workers in the leather industry in Bangladesh
Bangladesh is one of the poorest countries in Asia. The country’s textiles industry is regrettably known for its appalling working conditions, but the leather sector (specifically, the tannery sector) is also problematic in several regards. Solidar Suisse engages in favour of decent working conditions in this sector.
STRENGTHENING THE DIGNITY OF WORKERS
Due to government support, the leather sector is booming and employs 200,000 people. It is Bangladesh’s second largest export sector after the textiles sector. However, there are particular problems associated with the working conditions in the leather sector. Most workers do not have a formal employment contract, while the use of toxic substances generates heavy pollution and causes numerous illnesses. Finally, most employers have a negative attitude towards trade union rights and little respect for labour standards.
Solidar Suisse engages to inform workers in the leather industry and all actors about the risks in terms of Occupational Safety and Health (OSH). Employees should be able to work without putting their life or health at risk. We strengthen the workers’ union by building capacity in terms of advocacy and skills for negotiating with employers and political decision-makers. To this end, a platform has been set up that brings together actors from the leather industry (companies, unions, industry associations, authorities).
«When chemical products are used, the factory management only provides boots and gloves to the people working with raw materials. But they don’t provide any protective equipment to the people doing the dyeing. We have taken to buying masks and gloves ourselves, for our own safety.»
Solidar Suisse supports the activities of the tanners’ union to strengthen workers’ rights.
Help people in Bangladesh
Your donation will enable tannery workers to organise themselves to defend their rights.