The Bangladesh Garment and Manufacturers Association (BGMEA) has agreed to accept the decision of the Wage Board with regards to the salary structure of those working in readymade garment factories.
Talking to reporters after a meeting with representatives of workers’ unions, BGMEA president Atiqul Islam said the garment factory owners and workers have agreed to accept the Wage Board’s decision and the new pay structure would be enforced from the day it is announced.
The garment sector contributes about 80 percent to Bangladesh’s foreign exchange earnings. However, questions were raised regarding low wages and poor working conditions in garment units after a couple of disasters over the past one year.
Presently, the minimum pay for garment workers in Bangladesh is Tk 3,000. While the BGMEA was in favour of increasing it to Tk 3,600, various workers’ representatives have been asking for a minimum pay of around Tk 8,000 to Tk 8,200.
Meanwhile, a study conducted by the Centre for Policy Dialogue has proposed a gradual pay raise and has recommended that the minimum wage for an entry-level (grade 7) garment worker be fixed at Tk 6,560, initially in the first year.
The Wage Board, constituted by the Government in May this year, is scheduled to meet later this month, and it is expected to announce the new wage structure by November.