The government has taken a move to review the minimum wages for the workers and employees of bakery, bread and confectionery sector.
The wages for the sector were last reviewed five years ago.
In accordance with the Bangladesh labour act, the labour ministry has recently appointed owners’ and workers’ representatives of bakery, bread and confectionery sector to a wage board.
The government has already issued a gazette notification appointing representatives from owners and workers to the board, but the biggest market players of the sector claimed that they were not aware of the government’s move to review the workers’ wages.
As per the rules, the wage board consists of a chairman, an independent member, a permanent representative from employers and a permanent member from workers.
The labour ministry appoints one temporary representative from employers and one temporary representative from workers engaged in the sector concerned.
According to the gazette notification, the ministry appointed Bangladesh Bread Biscuit-Confectionery Prostutkarak Samity general secretary Md Rezaul Haque Rezu as the employers’ representative and Dhaka Biscuit Salesman workers-Employees Union president HM Bellal as the workers’ representative to the wage board.
‘We meet more than 70 per cent of total demand of bread and biscuits in the country, but no ministry or any government agencies informed us about the move to review the wages for the workers and employees of the sector,’ Md Shafiqur Rahman Bhuiyan, president of Bangladesh Auto Biscuits & Bread Manufacturers Association, told New Age on Saturday.
He said that workers and employees of the factories under Bangladesh Auto Biscuits & Bread Manufacturers Association are more than 2.5 lakh but the government appointed owners’ representatives from another association which has less than one lakh workers.
‘I don’t know how the government appointed industry representative to the minimum wage board without discussing with the major players. If the government wants to impose the new wages in our factories they should discuss with us,’ Shafiqur said.
Md Rezaul Haque Rezu, the labour ministry appointed employers’ representative to the minimum wage board, is still unaware of the gazette notification.
‘I know that the process is going on to form wage board for the workers and
employees of bakery, bread and confectionery sector but I don’t know whether the ministry appointed me as the employers’ representative to the board,’ Rezaul said.
When asked over the process for appointing owners’ representative to the minimum wage board, officials of the labour ministry said that the directorate of labour collects name from the trade bodies and sent to the ministry.
Labour director Abu Hena Moftafa Kamal said that they have collected the name of owners’ representative of bakery, bread and confectionery sector from the employers’ federation.
The leaders of both owners’ association in the sector, however, said that they were not worried over the government move to review the wages as the workers and employees of the sector receive wages much higher than the existing wage structure.
According to the Minimum Wage Board, the minimum wages for the workers and employees of bakery, bread and confectionery sector were set at Tk 2,120 and Tk 2,432 respectively as monthly pay in the year 2012.
Want stories like this in your inbox?
Sign up to exclusive daily email
More Stories from Miscellany