According to the present lowest wage structure for garment workers, a worker is eligible for an increment on their basic salary of Tk 8,000 a month.
The rule was set in September 2018, and it is scheduled to increase by 5% by the end of this year. Given the current scenario of the overall fashion industry, the Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA), the platform of 2,300-odd knitwear factories, has demanded the Bangladesh government to delay the application of the annual wage hike for garment workers for the next two years.
AKM Salim Osman, President, BKMEA said, “It has become very hard to pay workers their wages regularly due to the pandemic.”
Also, the fashion brands and buyers are delaying the payment up to 180 to 200 days, said BKMEA.
“In the meantime, it is not clear to any of us when the situation would be normal, while global buyers are not placing work orders as they are wary about the present situation.”
While many countries, plus Bangladesh, have reduced wages and allowances in different sectors, it is not wise for the apparel sector to raise wages by 5% as per the facility of the minimum readymade garment (RMG)workers wage, experts opined.
On the other hand, the worker unions have voiced their strong concern against such move.