Bangladesh garment industry has witnessed the emergence of a new trade union named ‘Garments Sramik Mojuri Andolan’ (Garment Worker Wage Movement), recently. The union has now reportedly demanded BDT 16,000 as the minimum monthly wage for the workers of country’s readymade garment (RMG) sector.
The Garment Worker Wage Movement is reportedly an organisation of 25 Government-registered labour associations. The body made the requirements while announcing its three-point demands at a press conference held in capital Dhaka on February 1, 2018.
Lima Ferdous, Convener of the organisation, read out the key notes and placed the three-point demands in front of the jam-packed crowd. “The minimum wage for the garment workers must be increased to BDT 16,000 per month and it should be implemented within six months,” she stressed.
The Convener has also asked the Government to appoint a member to the recently formed wage board from the representatives of the garment workers who can truly reflect the needs and demands of the community.
Contacted over the phone, Lima told Apparel Resources that the standard of living of garment-factory owners in Bangladesh is the most luxurious in the world while the country’s RMG workers are the lowest paid in the world. “The government and factory owners always spoke of the success of the garment sector but both of them are united to deprive workers,” she claimed.
Recently, Bangladesh Government formed a new wage board for the garment industry to formulate a new wage structure for approximately 4.5 million apparel workers across the country and as per the law, the newly formed board is expected to submit the new wage structure within six months.
It would not be irrelevant to mention here that the minimum wage was last fixed at BDT 5,300 in 2013, up from BDT 3,000 in 2010, BDT 1,662.50 in 2006, BDT 940 in 1994 and BDT 627 in 1985.