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Trade union leaders hold demo at BGMEA for wage hike

  • Published at 12:29 am December 27th, 2016
Trade union leaders hold demo at BGMEA for wage hike
The demands include a new wage structure, release of detained workers and withdrawal of cases filed against the RMG workers. The demand came amid the demonstration in front of Bangladesh Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) Bhaban under the banner of Bangladesh Garments Sramik Sanghati in the capital. In the wake of workers’ strike in Savar’s Ashulia, the owners of 59 RMG factories shut their manufacturing units in line with the article 13(1) of the Labour Act on December 20. The factory owners reopened their manufacturing units on Monday in response to the BGMEA call, “In the face of workers’ demands, the closed factories have been opened but firing and arresting workers still continue, which creates panic among workers,” Bangladesh Garments Sramik Sanghati president Taslima Akhter said in her address to the rally. Demanding the release of detained workers and leaders, Taslima calimed that a total of 27 people including trade union leader Soumitra Kumar has been arrested while cases have been filed against several unnamed workers and leaders with Ashulia Model Police Station. On the other hand,  a total of 337 workers have been fired, she added. The worker leaders, who joined the demonstration, also demanded a hike in their minimum wage for RMG workers to Tk16,000 a month. The workers were compelled to go on strike to realise their demand for a living wage as it is tough to maintain their living cost with the existing minimum wages, they argued. Taslima said the existing minimum monthly wage of Tk5,300 is not enough to buy essentials and meet the family needs. Demanding a new wage structure, the female leader said as per the Labor Act, the government can form a new wage board. Since December 11, several hundred RMG workers in Ashulia walked out, demanding revision of their minimum wage. In response to the workers’ abstention form their work, the owners shut their production.