About Us

Garment Workers Trade Union Center is a National Federation of Workers of Garment industry in Bangladesh consisting of affiliated Plant level Trade Unions spread all over Bangladesh.

In Bangla it is called “Garment Sromik Trade Union Kendro”.”Sromik” means worker and”Kendro” means Center.

GWTUC 1

Established in 1994 GWTUC is the biggest Trade Union in the garment sector fighting in the forefront of the struggle for the interest of workers, for their rights and better living and working conditions. The Center unites all workers irrespective of their political orientation, religion, ethnicity, caste, creed,or gender. Since overwhelming number of garment workers are women it gives special priority to women’s participation and empowerment.  It is a democratic, fighting and constructive trade union committed to build up a healthy trade union movement in the interest of workers, industry and all round development in harmony with nature.

There are about 40 million workers in the garment sector, more than 80% being women. Garment industry started developing in Bangladesh in the 1980′s.Presently BGMEA and BKMEA both owners associations have member factories numbering 4,882 and 1,870 member factories respectively. Number of employers little more than 5,000. The garment sector contributes 10 to 11% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). It is the biggest export earner.

Though there are Labour Laws in Bangladesh which give rights to workers including garment workers to be organised in trade unions,in reality garment workers are not allowed to form trade unions or organise movements. Whenever workers try to form a union or raise demands and industrial disputes, leading workers are dismissed, assaulted by hired hooligans of employers, false cases are lodged, police assault, arrest, harassment and repressions are unleashed. Though victimisation for trade union activities is forbidden by law and is a punishable offense, such repressions are  daily affair in Bangladesh. Trade unions are registered in most cases when it is backed by owner, government and ruling parties, foreign powers and NGO’s.

GWTUC being the largest union having committees and members in all the industrial areas, is being refused registration since several years.GWTUC is composed of trade Unions which are already registered. It means member unions of GWTUC are registered. Hence there can be no reason why it will not be registered. According to labour law an unregistered trade union cannot raise demands or disputes or organize movements, or do anything accept organisational activities required for submitting application for registration. But GWTUC is very much active.It believes that the rights are guarantied by the Constitution,Labour Laws and ILO Conventions ratified by the government. It is the government and owners who violate laws and deprive workers and GWTUC of their rights. But whenever there are big movements of garment workers GWTUC leaders are invited by Employers association or the Government to ensure meaningful  negotiations resolution of disputes. It is because they are the most representative and voice of the garment workers.
GWTUC has more than 20 unions as its members.  It has 15 regional committees covering all the industrial areas including districts where there are garment factories.  More than 50,000 workers activists of GWTUC. Work at the grass root level under difficult and often dangerous conditions to build up healthy trade union movement, Millions participate in our movements,meetings and demonstrations. GWTUC has a central executive committee lead by President, Working President and General Secretary elected by the the National Conference held every 2 years.

The fund of GWTUC is supported by subscription of member unions, contributions of workers and donations from trade union veterans and progressive and humanist individuals.

6 Comments to “About Us”

  • Christina Passariello says:

    Hello, I am a journalist covering the garment industry and Rana Plaza. I would like to get in touch with one of the leaders of your organization. I would also like to know if GWTUC has links with the Rana Plaza Garments Workers Union.
    Thank you

  • Leonie Schmid says:

    Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,

    I am a student of the Bachelor course Textile and Clothing Management at the University of Applied Sciences in Moenchengladbach, Germany. Currently, I am writing my Bachelor thesis in the area of Social Compliance. It is especially important to me, to find out through which methods the working conditions of the many poor garment workers in production countries like Bangladesh, India and China can be improved. For this reason I am comparing in my Bachelor thesis the currently existing monitoring systems of big garment enterprises- in my specific case the widespread monitoring system of the BSCI with the company-specific monitoring system of H&M.

    Since it is of incredibly high importance for my comparison to include all stakeholders in this discussion, I am contacting you today with the big request, to help me with my Bachelor thesis by answering my questionnaire.

    I would be very happy to hear your opinion on this topic!

    Thank you very much in advance!

    Questionnaire:

    1) What is the current situation of garment workers in factories in Bangladesh according to your opinion?
    2) How do you evaluate the right of workers to build trade unions in Bangladesh at the moment?
    3) Do you think that the Bangladeshi government should be held liable for improvements of worker conditions? If yes, how?
    4) Do you think that the conduct of audits leads to permanent improvements?
    5) Do you think that the conduct of trainings leads to permanent improvements of the situation of workers?
    6) Which advantages and disadvantages do you see in the monitoring system of the BSCI?
    7) Which advantages and disadvantages do you see in the company-specific monitoring system of H&M?
    8) According to your opinion: What is the best solution for a midsize enterprise with garment production in countries like Bangladesh to reach sustainable and permanent improvements in working conditions?

  • md.khalilur rahman says:

    a worker of binni garments of south kamlapur got only tk700/= as festival bonus. is it justified. please take you action.

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