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The growth and development of trade unionism in Bangladesh: 1947 - 1986

Badiuzzaman, Mohammed (Zaman)


Mohammed (Zaman) Badiuzzaman


This research examines the growth and development of trade unionism in Bangladesh, There is little existing literature or systematic research on this subject for Bangladesh partly because data sources are meagre and sometimes of poor quality, The research attempts to document the origin, aims, objectives, and leadership functions of the trade union movement in Bangladesh and tests a model of the growth of unions in Bangladesh with the data available, The material is presented in chronological periods, Some comparisons are drawn between these developments in Bangladesh and the some phenomena in the West and other third world countries.
The study is based on secondary data sources covering the period from 1947 to 1987, although for certain purposes it goes back to 1850, This study reveals that the growth and development of trade unions in Bangladesh has been constrained by the existing socio-economic structure and the political instability together with Government policy and employers' attitudes, Outsider leadership has also played a crucial but sometimes limiting role. An econometric model suggests that the business cycle theory of trade union growth has some support in explaining the growth of Bangladeshi trade unionism, The study concludes by suggesting a new strategy for the successful operation and development of trade unionism in Bangladesh in the form of progressive leislation, education, and training. An indigenous theory of trade unionism is needed, because Western models are inadequate for Bangladesh in many respects.

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