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Bangladesh RMG makers demand review of Wage Board decision
Nov '13
The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) and the Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) have demanded a review of the Tk 5,300 minimum wage for garment workers recommended by the Wage Board.
Addressing a joint press conference of the two bodies, BGMEA president Atiqul Islam said the readymade garment (RMG) sector is not capable of paying Tk 5,300 as minimum wage for entry-level workers.
After an urgent meeting regarding the Wage Board’s proposed minimum wage, the BGMEA and BKMEA office bearers said they would shutdown all garment making units if the Government does not review the Tk 5,300 minimum wage within the next 15 days.
They said a minimum wage of Tk 4,250-4,500 per month should be acceptable to garment makers, or the Government should come out with an exit policy if the recommended salary of Tk 4,500 is not finalized.
The Bangladesh’s garment sector would lose its competitiveness if the new wage structure recommended by the six-member Wage Board is implemented, Mr. Islam said.
Moreover, the small and medium enterprises would be forced to shutdown if the current minimum wage proposal is implemented, he added.
The garment sector is the largest foreign exchange earner for Bangladesh and it fetched over US$ 19 billion last fiscal year. However, few incidents like the last year’s Tazreen Fashion fire accident and the Rana Plaza building collapse earlier this year brought global limelight on the existing conditions of garment workers in Bangladeshi factories, which compelled the Government to constitute a Wage Board in May this year.
The previous wage board constituted by the Bangladesh Government in July 2010 had hiked the minimum wage from the then existing Tk 1,662.50 per month to Tk 3,000 per month.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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