Bangladesh labour leaders under the banner of Garment Workers’ Rights Movement demonstrated outside the National Wage Board office in Dhaka demanding tripling the minimum wage as the board, formed to formulate a new pay structure for the country’s garment workers, held its second meeting recently. The meeting was chaired by Board Chairman Syed Aminul Islam.
The labour leaders demanded a monthly minimum wage of Tk 16,000, according to Bangladesh media reports. However, the owners and labour representatives did not propose a ‘possible’ wage structure at the meeting which disappointed trade union leaders. They are expected to do that in the third board meeting on July 16.
According to Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) President M SiddiqurRahman, the negotiation is at a primary level now and a decision will be arrived at after further discussions. Rahman rejected labour organizations’ demand for Tk16,000 as minimum wage, saying that is impossible to implement under the current industry situation.
Rahman and women’s affairs secretary of Jatiya Sramik League Shamsunnahar Bhuiyan are representing owners and workers respectively in the board along with four other permanent members. The last wage board formed in December 2013 fixed minimum wages for garment workers at Tk 5,300.