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Textile Today Question of the Month

The minimum wage of RMG workers was BDT 5,300, extremely insufficient to fulfill the minimum standard of workers life. Trade union leaders and buyers were pushing RMG manufacturers to raise the workers minimum wage and following this Bangladesh government have raised the minimum wage to Tk 8,000, 51 percent higher than the previous minimum wage.
Year Amount in TK
1994-2005 940
2006-2009 1662
2010-2012 3000
2013-2017 5300
2018 8000

Table: Minimum wages in RMG sector from 1994 to 2018

However, already hundreds of factories have been closed for several reasons including increased production cost, compliance issues and low price of the product etc. In this reality, how the textile and apparel manufacturers are covering the added cost?

Textile Today selects this as questions of the month for its section ‘Textile Today Question of the Month’. Here is what some industry insiders told about it…

Md. Siddiqur Rahman, President, BGMEA
Md. Siddiqur Rahman, President, BGMEA

Md. Siddiqur Rahman, President, BGMEA: We see, already hundreds of the factories have been shut down due to wages and several other Day by day production cost has increased but the price has decreased. Now we should focus on our worker’s efficiency for increasing productivity. We are moving to a new market and our government is trying to support us. If buyers do not increase their product price, our small and medium category factories could not sustain for new minimum wages.

The way outs for the RMG manufacturers to cope with the new wage hike
Figure: The way outs for the RMG manufacturers to cope with the new wage hike.
Monir Hossain Emon, Managing Director, Divine Fashion (BD) Ltd
Monir Hossain Emon, Managing Director, Divine Fashion (BD) Ltd

Monir Hossain Emon, MD, Divine Fashion (BD) Ltd: As a medium category factory owner, we are facing a lot of challenges due to this wage hike, production cost has increases, Accord and Alliance issues etc. Owing to new wages structure, salary cost will be increased by half a crore per month in our factory. Regarding the issue of increasing workers’ wages, buyers should take part by a cent’s increase for the per At the same time, the government can negotiate and lobby with the EU,US, and any related trade bodies. We have many positive side. So we should brand and promote our industry in the globally.

David Hasanat, Chairman, Viyellatex Group
David Hasanat, Chairman, Viyellatex Group

David Hasanat, Chairman, Viyellatex Group: Our workers are the biggest asset to our textile and apparel industry. As an owner, we should provide better salary and facilities for RMG workers. Our customers always talk about ‘sustainability’ but sad but true that they would not pay for this. To manage this wage hike, we should establish a price-fixing policy and always negotiate with buyers for the right price. Besides, most of the world’s green factories are in our country, so we should also go for branding.

Engr. Aslam Parvez, Executive Director, Hazrat Amanat Shah Spinning Mills Ltd
Engr. Aslam Parvez, Executive Director, Hazrat Amanat Shah Spinning Mills Ltd

Engr. Aslam Parvez, ED, Hazrat Amanat Shah Spinning Mills Ltd: Yes, wage hike is a severe challenge for our textile and apparel industry right now. Product low price is one of the biggest reasons behind increasing our workers’ wages. In the competitive global market, primary textile factories are facing challenges due to the low At present, due to wage status, we are trying to improve our worker’s efficiency and efficiently using our own resources.

Faruque Hossain, General Manager (Admin), Comfit Composite Ltd
Faruque Hossain, General Manager (Admin), Comfit Composite Ltd

Faruque Hossain, GM (IR and Compliance), Comfit Composite Ltd: Due to the new wage structure, more than two and half a crore BDT salary is increasing per month in our factory. Now we are facing a huge challenge and to overcome the challenge we are increasing our worker’s efficiency for better productivity. Besides, we are trying to save resources to reduce production cost.

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