Government received letter of concern about Telenor subsidiary

Telenor logo clearly visible on the streets in the capital Dhaka.Dhaka, Bangladesh. Telenor logo clearly visible on the streets in the capital Dhaka.Photo: Stringer / NTB scanpix

The Telenor subsidiary in Bangladesh is fighting to prevent employees from organizing themselves, according to an international trade union that has sent a letter of concern to the Norwegian government.

In a letter to Minister of Trade and Industry Monica Mæland, which the newspaper Klassekampen struggle has gained access to,  the international trade union Uni Global Union writes that employees in Telenor’s subsidiary, Grameenphone, have waited more than three years to get  their union registered by the government in Bangladesh .
According to the organization, Grameenphone has actively opposed the efforts of the employees to get organized.
– The company has claimed in court  that they can not recognize Grameenphone Employees Union (GPEU) because about 2,950 of Grameenphone 3,000 employees are classified as managers in the company and thus are ineligible for union representation, the general secretary Phillip Jennings writes.
Telenor owns 55 percent of the company, and  the communications manager Glenn Mandelid points out that the authorities in Bangladesh in 2012 rejected an application from Grameenphone employees to create a union.
– In Bangladesh, there is no tradition of union organization in telecom companies. It is important to us that everything is in accordance with local laws and regulations, and we are waiting for official clarifications to know how we as employers are to proceed, he says.

Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today

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