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51% rise in min monthly wage of Bangladesh garment workers

Sep '18
Courtesy: Pexels
Courtesy: Pexels
The Bangladesh Government has raised the minimum monthly wage of garment workers by around 51 per cent to Tk 8,000 from Tk 5,300 now with effect from December. This was announced by state minister for labour and employment Mohammad Mujibul Haque Chunnu at a press conference recently after the final meeting of the wage board formed in January.

The gazette notification regarding the hike will be published soon.
Of the total monthly minimum amount, Tk 4,100 is basic wage, Tk 2,050 is house rent, Tk 600 medical allowance, Tk 350 conveyance allowance and Tk 900 is food expenditure, Bangladesh media reported quoted the minister as saying.

However, the hike was rejected by many trade unions, which demand a minimum monthly wage of Tk 16,000 and have urged the prime minister to review the decision.

There is no scope for not paying the minimum wage at the entry level, Chunnu said. No change has been made in the seven grades of garment workers.

The minimum wage was fixed at Tk 5,300 the last time in 2013, up from Tk 3,000 in 2010. It was Tk 1,662.50 in 2006, Tk 940 in 1994 and Tk 627 in 1985.

According to Siddiqur Rahman, the owners' representative in the board and president of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), the prime minister’s suggestion to raise the factory owners’ proposed monthly minimum of Tk 7,000 by Tk 1,000 was accepted by them.

However, Nazma Akter, president of Sammilita Garments Sramik Federation, a workers' rights group, urged the government to slightly raise the basic wage announced as other benefits are linked to the basic pay.

The government should also provide subsidies for the workers' accommodation, food and education so that they can save some money from their wages, said Nazma.

As the owners may increase the production target after the wage hike, it needs to be ensured that workers are not overburdened with work, she added.

Several leaders from two other rights groups, Garment Sramik Trade Union Kendra and Bangladesh Garment Sramik Sanghati, also echoed her views. (DS)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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