Who filed the case, the govt or the workers, asks Dr. Yunus

Nobel laureate economist Dr. Muhammad Yunus speaks to the media on 28 January in 2024Prothom Alo

Nobel laureate economist Dr. Muhammad Yunus on Sunday asked the newspersons to tell him who filed the case accusing him of violating labour laws.

“I need to clarify one thing from my side, the government, from all its levels, has repeatedly been saying that the government has not lodged this case. You (journalists) are witnesses but you’re not saying anything. Did the government or the workers file this? Give me this answer,” he told the newspersons.

Dr Yunus asked this to the newspersons after filing an appeal with the Appeal Tribunal against the sentence in a case filed for the violation of labour law.

Addressing the newspersons, Dr Muhammad Yunus stated, “The Department of Inspection of Factories and Establishments is a government organisation. You (journalist) say that no worker did file any case. This is a lie.”

Before this Dr. Yunus answered various questions of the newspersons and pointed out to them about taking various initiatives including Grameen Bank, social business.

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The chairman of Grameen Telecom and Nobel laureate economist Dr. Muhammad Yunus challenged the verdict in the case filed by the DIFE on allegations of violation of labour laws in the morning.

Nobel laureate economist Dr. Muhammad Yunus speaks to the media on 28 January in 2024
Prothom Alo

MA Awal, acting chairman of the Labour Appellate Tribunal, accepted the appeal of four people including Dr Yunus and granted permanent bail to them.

While speaking to Prothom Alo, Abdullah Al Mamun, lawyer of Dr. Yunus, said the tribunal accepted their appeal for hearing and scheduled it for 3 March.

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Dr. Yunus and three others came to the Labour Appellate Tribunal at around 10:45 am today and filed an appeal challenging the verdict by the Third Labor Court of Dhaka. At the same time, they applied for bail. The third labour court of Dhaka sentenced four people including Dr. Yunus to six months imprisonment in the case on 1 January. At the same time the court fined Tk 30,000 each.

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The other three convicts are Grameen Telecom’s former managing director (MD) Ashraful Hasan, director Nur Jahan Begum and Md. Shah Jahan.

The case was lodged in the Labour Tribunal against four including Dr Yunus on 1 September in 2021. The charge was framed in the case on 6 June last year while recording of testimonies began on 22 August and ended on 9 November. Placing arguments in the case ended on 24 December.

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It was alleged in the case that according to the Labour Act, 2006 and Labour Rules, 2015, the recruitment of the workers or employees of Grameen Telecom was not made permanent even after completion of their apprenticeship period.

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It was also said that annual leave, encashment of leave and cash against leave was not granted to workers or employees working in the organisation. Worker Participation Fund and Welfare Fund have not been established in Grameen Telecom. Besides, an amount equivalent to 5 per cent of the profit has not been deposited in the fund constituted under the Labour Welfare Foundation Act.

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