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Rehman Sobhan calls for justice for garment workers

  • Published at 01:22 am August 6th, 2018
Rehman Sobhan
Professor Rehman Sobhan speaking at a dialogue on RMG worker's minimum wage on Sunday at Brac Inn Rajib Dhar/Dhaka Tribune

At the dialogue, CPD proposed Tk10,028 as minimum wage for RMG workers

Noted economist Prof Rehman Sobhan on Sunday at a dialogue urged RMG factory owners to change their mindset and asked to set a just minimum wage for garments workers. 

Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) Chairman Rehman Sobhan was speaking at a dialogue  “Minimum Wages and Livelihood Conditions of RMG Workers” at Brac Inn. 

At the dialogue, CPD proposed Tk10,028 as minimum wage for RMG workers.

“Workers are the very central element, especially in the garment industry and very important because workers are the very central part of the garment,” said Professor Sobhan. 

In other industries there issues of machinery and technology that are the major elements in the processing of the product, but this one industry where prime input comes from the workers and therefore only the wages are not enough.

How the worker approaches his participation in the work is also crucial, said the economist.

“When you talk about workers’ wages, you have to keep in mind that the central driving force is not to give him a living wage but to give him justice,” he added.

“Now, in the last seven days our children are standing on the street with a demand for justice. Keep in mind they are reminding us there is a serious lack of justice and they are asking for that,” said Professor Sobhan. 

So the central element is what the Liberation War was fought for and 3 million people were killed for that, it was about justice and you bring this to discussion, he urged. 

“Both the government and the owners should recognize that the global competitiveness in garments has been created by our workers, there is no doubt in it. And the bottom line is we have brought the women from the villages and they have created global competitiveness,” Professor Sobhan added.

“When you recognize that then you have to see them not just as the cost of production but both as a form of capital investment and as your partner in the production and competitive process.

“Rather than seeing these people as your problem, you should see them as your solution and you make them your partners,” he said.