The Federation now represents nearly 90 percent of the established employers in the private sector, and all the Sector Corporations and autonomous bodies, such as, Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation, Bangladesh Steel & Engineering Corporation, Bangladesh Sugar & Food Industries Corporation, Bangladesh Textile Mills Corporation, Bangladesh Chemical Industries Corporation, Bangladesh Oil, Gas and Mineral Corporation, Bangladesh Power Development Board, etc.
REPRESENTATION ON NATIONAL BODIES/COMMITTEES
The Federation is recognised by the government as the only representative organisation of employers. Accordingly, it has been given representation on all national Bodies/Committees concerning labour-management relations. It is also represented on various bodies, such as National Tripartite Consultative Committee on Labour Matters, Governing Bodies of the Bangladesh Institute of Management (BIM), Industrial Relations Institute, Minimum Wages Board, Labour Courts, etc. In matters of representation at various international conferences and industrial seminars, symposia organised from time to time by the ILO and its attached units/agencies, the Federation is called upon to send representatives.
It is also represented on the Governing/Academic Bodies of prestigious organisations, national institutions, such as Institute of Business Administration (IBA), BIM, etc.
The Federation is also represented on the Council of International Organisation of Employers and through it, maintains close touch with employers’ organisations in other countries and exchanges views and information on current issues.
The Federation’s Managing Committee consists of leading entrepreneurs of the country and senior professional managers including representatives of Sector Corporations and all Associations representing major industries.
The Federation renders the following services to members:-
- Direct advisory services on labour problems and help with guidance to employers in their collective bargaining with the unions.
- Monthly meetings in Dhaka and Chittagong of senior personnel and labour welfare officers in order to facilitate exchange of views on the current topics and come to an agreed solution to the same. A large number of representatives from public and private sector units participate at the meetings.
- Keeping members informed of the up-to-date labour situation through weekly reports and monthly bulletins.
- Collection, compilation and, if necessary, circulation to members of various comparative information on pay scales and the terms of service to maintain uniformity of action.
- Preparation of index of various facts and figures so as to make them available to members and Government agencies, as and when needed.
- Conduct limited research on related issues
ADVISORY SERVICES ON INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS
Its services to members cover all aspects of industrial relations. Its Secretariat and the Labour Advisers posted in Dhaka and Chittagong are available to members for consultation, advice and information. Advices generally concern matters which are directly related to wage negotiations, labour management relations, disciplinary action, interpretation of labour laws etc.
The Federation publishes “Labour News”, a monthly bulletin and a weekly labour situation report, which keeps members apprised of the day-to-day labour situation. Gists of labour court decisions and Government notifications on labour matters are published in the Federation’s bulletins. The Federation’s annual reports and information on important issues are disseminated among the members by circulars.
Another important feature of the Federation’s activities is the monthly meetings of officers of member organisations dealing with labour and administrative matters which serve as a training ground for them. Deliberations in these meetings are aimed at examining labour problems in different aspects and from various angles so as to arrive at a consensus for information and guidance of the members.
PRODUCTIVITY IMPROVEMENT ASSISTANCE
The Federation provides consultancy services to industries, and helps them identify the scope of improving productivity through the application of modern management technique. It assists members mainly in the fields like work study, value engineering, production planning and control including inventory management, fixation of wage structures, job evaluation, setting recruitment standards, work measurement, method improvement, value analysis, maintenance management, office management, incentive scheme, etc.
Management training is a regular feature of the Federation’s activities. Senior officials engaged in respective management functions participate in various seminars/workshops organised by the Federation which are facilitated by national and international experts.
The training programmes have been found rewarding by the participants. The topics, the course contents, the level of participants etc. are carefully considered by the Seminar Sub-Committee on the basis of expert advice.
The Federation also maintains close link with the international agencies like International Labour Organisation and the International Organisation of Employers. It offers comments on ILO Conventions, Recommendations and also other schemes in the filed of labour in close consultation with the Ministry of Labour and Employment.
LABOUR COURT ASSISTANCE
The Federation represents employers in the seven Labour Courts of the country. It not only monitors through its representatives on the panels, the cases which come up before the Courts but carefully ensures that legitimate interests of employers are duly highlighted in the written comments of the members of the employers panels. The Federation’s concern and contributions towards safeguarding employers’ interests have been recognised invaluable.
MINIMUM WAGES BOARD
Similarly, the Federation has to represent and safeguard the interests of employers in the Minimum Wages Board which meets at regular intervals. The Board’s awards are crucial for smaller industries which survive mainly on the basis of competitive labour costs.
NATIONAL POLICY ISSUES
The Federation renders expert assistance, advice and services to the Government, particularly to the Ministry of Labour and Employment in the formulation of various plans and policies. Its involvement in the formulation of plans and policies especially in the field of industrial relations is well-known. It represents employers’ viewpoints at the Tripartite Consultative Committee.
The Federation has dedicated its attention and activities towards improvement of industrial-relations as a vital input in economic development. The tasks involved are no doubt difficult but, given the support and co-operations of employers, trade union leaders and the Government it will continue to make contributions towards better industrial relations.