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Labor leaders demand Tk. 16,000 as minimum wage for RMG workers

When hundreds of factories are being closed for several reasons-including production cost increase, high compliance cost and low price of the product-the global and local rights groups have again pressed for fixing Tk. 16,000 as the minimum monthly wage for the country’s readymade garment (RMG) sector workers.

Now RMG workers get a minimum wage of 5,300 Tk., which is truly not enough to fulfill their minimum standard of life.

Labor leaders demand Tk. 16,000 as minimum wage for RMG workers
Figure: Several labor organizations, including Bangladesh Apparel Workers’ Federation, hold a rally in Dhaka on Friday demanding Tk. 16,000 as the monthly minimum wage for garment workers.

Bangladesh Poshak Shilpa Shramik Federation, Sammilita Garments Shramik Federation and Bangladesh Metal Chemical Garments and Tailors Workers’ Federation jointly organized an event in front of the National Press Club on 13 July where they demanded it.

They threatened for tougher agitation movement for minimum wage Tk. 16,000 for garment workers immediately.

The leaders alleged that the government and factory owners were wasting time to declare minimum wage for the workers while the workers were passing inhuman life due to the financial crisis, said a press release.

Sammilita Garments Shramik Federation president Nazma Akter presided over the program where, among others, Bangladesh Poshak Shilpa Shramik Federation President and also IndustryAll Bangladesh chapter Secretary General Towhidur Rahman, Bangladesh Poshak Shilpa Shramik Federation General Secretary Tahmina Rahman spoke.

Majority of the federations pressed for proposing Tk. 16,000 as the minimum wage, while a few of them recommended Tk. 17,000 and Tk. 18,000.

They complained that the wage board had been working in a slow pace as the board was dominated by the representative of employers and it held only two meetings since it was formed in January.

The government issued a gazette notification on January 31, announcing the name of the owners’ and workers’ representatives to the board to review the monthly minimum wage for the garment workers.

The minimum wage for the RMG workers was fixed at Tk. 3,000 in 2010, while it was Tk. 1,662.50 in 2006, and Tk. 940 in 1994.

Also Read: What should be the new minimum wage for RMG workers and what will be the aftermath?

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