Mohammad Abdus Salam

2022 IVLP Impact Award Project: Training of Occupational Health Safety and Employment Injury Insurance SchemesBangladesh

Mohammad Abdus Salam is a full-time trade union activist from Bangladesh working with different types of formal and informal workers. He started his work in the ready-made garment industry in 1999 as a helper in the Moni Group. After three years of service, Salam was promoted to a knitting operator.

In 2001, he formed a union in his factory, but in 2003, the factory owner instated changes within the factory that caused many workers to lose their jobs. Subsequently, a labor movement took place and Salam was arrested, but he was shortly released due to the strong worker’s movement. He then started working at another factory where he formed another union, and then was terminated from the job. Then, Salam joined another factory in the Savar Area where there was a strong union movement run by the workers of the Hamim Group. Salam was arrested in 2009 for involvement in the movement and was sent to prison for 16 months. After he posted bail, Salam was black-listed by the Garment Owners Association, and he could no longer work in the garment industry in Bangladesh.

Since then, Salam established the Workers Resource Centre, the largest trade union platform in Bangladesh, and continues to dedicate himself to the betterment of the country's distressed workers. Through his organization, he works to protect the rights of construction, fishing, book bindings, domestic and migrant workers in Bangladesh. 

IVLP Impact Award Project: Training of Occupational Health Safety and Employment Injury Insurance Schemes

This project, held in the Gazipur District of Bangladesh, created awareness among trade union leaders and activists on Occupational Health Safety and Employment Injury Insurance measures.

The project included five two-day trainings for 120 plant-level trade union leaders and activists on the Employment and Investment Incentive Scheme. At the end of the training, the participant was able to identify the risks and hazards in the workplace, explain the roles and responsibilities of the safety committee, explain the mechanisms in place to file complaints in the workplace, explain the legal framework regarding compensation and advocate for occupational health safety and employment injury insurance scheme workplace measures Additionally, due to these trainings, 3 ad-hoc committees have been formed with workers to organize unions in different factories.

IVLP Exchange Experience

Mohammad was a participant in the IVLP Project Implementing Labor Law in Bangladesh, organized by the U.S. Department of State and Meridian International Center.

Mohammad's exchange experience led to the development of his IVLP Impact Award Project: "The IVLP informed me about the history and labor situation and helped me to better understand legal processes in the United States."

U.S. Communities Visited Virtually

Washington, DC; Iowa City, IA; Chicago, IL

Country: Bangladesh

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