DHAKA, Bangladesh --- The Asian Peasant Coalition (APC) congratulates the Bangladeshi agricultural workers for their victory in their decades-old struggle to implement festival bonus.
“The Bangladesh Agricultural Farm Labour Federation (BAFLF), a founding member of APC, has been working relentlessly for the protection of the rights of the agricultural workers, agricultural farm workers and rural workers since its inception in 1978”, stated Rahmat Ajiguna, APC deputy secretary general.
“In 1989, the BAFLF led two-month strike to call for several demands, including declaration of two festival bonuses for farm laborers. This militant action forced the Bangladeshi government to form one high level committee and declared one festival bonus for regular farm worlers equivalent to one month’s wage,” said Abdul Mazid, BAFLF general secretary.
“But BAFLF ditd not stop after this. We continue our movement and militant struggle. We organized rallies, demonstrations and several negotiations with the government. We demand for two festival bonuses every year to be given to all types of farm workers – regular, irregular and seasonal,” added Mazid.
The BAFLF held a meeting with the officals of the Inter-Ministerial Standing Committee for Agricultural Farm Labours’ Affairs on May 20, 2012. The meeting was presided by Hon. Syed Mustafizur Rahman, Additional Secretary of Ministry of Agriculture.
Mazid stressed, “As per the decision of the committee, the Ministry of Agriculture published a notification on 24 May 2012 stating that the committee had decided to give two festival bonuses for regular workers and one festival bonus for irregular workers... For the first time, the irregular workers had enjoyed festival bonus on the occasion of Eid, one of the main festivals in the country.”
‘We congratulate the BAFLF achievement. Their victory is a product of a decades-old struggle and this inspires the Bangladeshi agricultural farmers to continue their fight to protect their rights,” ended Ajiguna. #