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Dhaka Tribune

Garments workers want Tk8,114 as minimum wage per month

Update : 18 Aug 2013, 08:08 PM

Leaders of garments workers have placed their proposals to the chairman of minimum wage board, formed to fix a fresh minimum wage level for garment workers, proposing a minimum of Tk8,114 as monthly wages for the workers.

Sirajul Islam Rony, who represents the workers in the wage board and president of Bangladesh National Garments Workers Employee League, placed the proposals to the board chairman Sunday.

"We have prepared the proposals based on the recommendations and opinions of several federations and organisations of workers," Rony told the Dhaka Tribune.

They also included some other issues in the proposal to improve workers living standard and to ensure workers’ rights, he added.

According to the proposals, a worker needs Tk300 for clothing, Tk500 for treatment, Tk300 for transportation, Tk200 for recreation, Tk375 for toiletries, Tk500 for festivals and Tk500 for family help to lead standard life.

In the proposals, there are seven categories of workers minimum wage and 30% of basic has been proposed as house rent.

The living cost of a worker has increased substantially but the wages did not increase in accordance with the expenditure, said Roney.

Commenting on the proposed waged structure by the labour leaders, Shahidullah Azim, vice president of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association, said: “We are for wages hike and will follow the board’s decision.”

Earlier, the government constituted a wage board for the readymade garment workers headed by AK Roy, a retired district judge.

The committee has inducted a neutral member, a permanent member representing the garment factory owners, a permanent member representing the workers, and two representatives from the garment owners.

A minimum wage board was formed in spring 2010 and a new minimum wage, effective from November 2010, was defined in August. The wage board raised the minimum monthly pay for garment workers to Tk3,000 from Tk1662.50 per month. Wages increased by 67% to 81%, depending on job category.

The first minimum wage board, constituted in 1994, had fixed Tk940 as minimum wage per month for garment workers. The second one, formed in 2006, set the minimum wage at Tk1662.50 per month.  

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