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Garment workers struggling for 35 Cents an hour
Oct '09
On Saturday, October 17, garment workers in Bangladesh joined by the National Garment Workers Federation led a protest demanding that the country's minimum wage be raised to 35 cents an hour.

The current minimum wage in Bangladesh's garment industry is 1662 taka a month. This comes to just 11 ½ cents an hour!

No one can survive on 11 ½ cents an hour, leaving the workers and their families trapped in abject misery. Hoping to climb out of misery and into poverty, the garment workers are asking that the minimum wage be raised to 35 cents an hour--which is hardly a wild demand.

In this day and age, one would think that the U.S. apparel companies and retailers, along with ourselves, the consumers, would blush with shame that women garment workers in Bangladesh who toil 12 hours a day sewing our clothing are in the position of having to struggle to earn just 35 cents an hour!

This should be a no-brainer. Are there really any U.S. apparel companies or retailers that would fight to block the proposed 35-cent an hour wage demanding that it stay at 11 ½ cents?

If the garment workers win their struggle, the minimum wage will be raised to 5000 taka a month.

There are over two million mostly young women garment workers in Bangladesh, who sew $3.54 billion worth of garments for export to the U.S. each year. Bangladesh is the third largest exporter in the world of apparel to the U.S. It would be a safe venture to say that almost every one of us wears garments made in Bangladesh.

National Labor Committee

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