The Government of Bangladesh has published a Gazette notification on minimum wages for readymade garment (RMG) workers, which is available on the websites of the Ministry of Labour and Employment and the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA).
The new minimum wages become effective from December 1, 2013, and the workers will receive new wages in January next year.
As per the new wage structure, a Grade-7 worker in a garment factory will receive Tk 3,000 in basic salary plus Tk 1,200 for rent allowance, Tk 250 for medical purposes, Tk 200 for transport allowance and Tk 650 as food subsidy.
However, a trainee or apprentice will get only Tk 4,810 as the minimum monthly salary for the first three months, extendable for another three months, but after that the trainee will be appointed as permanent worker under Grade-7.
Moreover, workers from now on will get a 5 percent rise on their basic salary every year, a provision that was missing in the previous salary structure.
Further, the Gazette states that a worker’s salary cannot be decreased from the current level, if his or her existing salary is greater than that applicable as per the new wage structure.
Similarly, if a garment factory is paying higher allowances for food than the new structure, the food subsidy cannot be reduced even in such cases.