Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) and workers leaders sit today, aimed at reaching a consensus on minimum wage for the workers as they failed to set the wage at their last meeting.
On October 31, the BGMEA proposed a minimum monthly wage of Tk4,250, including food allowance, but the leaders of the workers did not accept the proposal.
Later, the independent member to the board, Dr Kamal Uddin, proposed the minimum monthly wage of Tk5, 000, excluding food allowance. The labour leaders also disagreed with the proposal. Both the apparel makers and workers have so far failed to reach a consensus over the food allowance.
“We will try to come up with some extra offer if the labour leaders agree to include food allowance in the wage,” said Arshad Jamal Dipu, who represents owners to the wage board. “We want to reach a consensus and the workers leaders should cooperate otherwise the issue would remain unsettle.”
The board members should consider both the socio-economic situation and the capacity of the industry, he said.
The factory owners should think about the living standard of the workers and come up with a living wage, said Sirajul Islam Rony, workers’ representative to the wage board. “If the workers cannot live with sound health, they would not be able to work properly and the production of the sector will decline.”
In its first proposal, the BGMEA proposed an increase of Tk600 or 20% from the existing minimum wage of Tk3,000 per month. The workers rejected the offer, and many took to the streets demanding a higher wage.