Underlining that the cost of living of the workers has increased by 17 per cent yearly during the 2013-18 period, the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD), an institution for in-depth research and dialogue to promote inclusive policymaking in Bangladesh, and strengthen regional and global economic integration, has reportedly proposed a grade-wise wage structure for the apparel workers.
Presenting his report titled “Addressing the Livelihood Challenges of RMG Workers: Exploring Scope within the Structure of Minimum Wages and Beyond” at a dialogue programme on “Minimum Wages and Livelihood Conditions of RMG Workers” in capital Dhaka recently, CPD Research Director Khondaker Golam Moazzem reportedly proposed that the minimum wage for newly-introduced grade VI be fixed at Taka 11,004 and Taka 9228 for the workers without children, keeping in mind the falling profit margins as well as possible future business risks.
Moazzem reportedly maintained that the wage for grade V could be Taka 10,715, Taka 11,786 for grade IV, Taka 13,319 for grade III, and Taka 15,317 for grade II, while adding that all allowances would be proportionately increased with the promotion of the workers besides proposing child care and education allowance, service benefit with 3 per cent of the basic centrally deposited under ‘Provident Fund’, transport and communication allowance, etc.
Speaking at the event, Moazzem reportedly called upon the Government and the private sector to jointly work for the development of the workers while adding that wage structure needs major revisions considering the hike in the living costs.
As per his study, the living cost of the workers in 2013 was Taka 10,353 while in 2018 it increased to Taka 19,267.