DHAKA, Bangladesh—Bangladesh today defended its new labor laws and said it is angry at criticism from the International Labor Organization (ILO), which called the legislation inadequate.

Parliament passed the legislation last week in the wake of a garment factory disaster in April that killed 1,129 people, highlighting poor safety standards in the industry.

Lawmakers said the new law ensured full trade union rights for millions of laborers, as it scrapped previous provisions requiring factory owners to approve the formation of a union.

In a statement issued Monday, however, the ILO said that the law fell short of "several important steps called for" by the organization, notably related to restrictions on workers' freedom of association.

The law stipulates that workers can form a union only if 30% of employees approve of it in advance.

Bangladeshi officials today told a press briefing that Dhaka had vented its anger at the ILO over the public criticism.

"We've protested," Labor Minister Rajiuddin Ahmed Raju said. "It's not acceptable. We're writing a letter seeking explanation as to why this kind of statement was issued."