Wage board for garment workers likely this month

Govt seeks names of owners’, workers’ representatives

Staff Correspondent | Published: 00:05, Dec 12,2017

 
 

A file photo shows workers sewing clothes at a readymade garment factory in Dhaka. The wage board for reviewing wages of country’s RMG workers is likely to be formed by this month as the labour ministry asked directorate of labour to finalise the names of the representatives of factory owners and workers for the board. — New Age photo

The wages board for reviewing wages of country’s readymade garment workers is likely to be formed by this month as the labour ministry asked directorate of labour to finalise the names of the representatives of factory owners and workers for the board.
‘We are in the process to form the wage board to review the wages of RMG workers and hopefully the board will be formed by this month,’ state minister for labour Md Mujibul Haque told New Age on Monday.
After getting the names of the representatives of factory owners and workers from the directorate of labour, the ministry would issue gazette notification appointing them as members of the wage board.
The labour ministry recently asked the directorate of labour to finalise the names of the representatives of RMG factory owners and workers for the wage board.
‘We have already sent letters to Bangladesh Employers Federation and Bangladesh Jatiya Sramik League seeking the name of the factory owners’ and workers’ representatives to the wage board,’ Abu Hena Mostafa Kamal, director of Labour Directorate, told New Age on Monday.
After getting names from Employers Federation and Sramik League those would be sent to the ministry for next course of action, he said.
The labour ministry has initiated the move to review wages of RMG workers last month after getting a request from Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association to form the minimum wage board.
On November 8, the trade body sent a letter to the labour ministry requesting review of the existing wages of workers and formation of
a minimum wage board to uplift the image of the sector at home and abroad.
The issue was discussed in the cabinet meeting on November 20 presided over by prime minister Sheikh Hasina at her Tejgaon office.
Following Rana Plaza building collapse in April 24, 2013 that killed more than 1,100 people, mostly garment workers, the government under pressure from national and international community took a measure to review the wages of the RMG workers.
In December 2013, a minimum wage board set the lowest wage for garment workers at Tk 5,300 raised from Tk 3,000, which was set in July, 2010.
In December last year, many RMG workers in Ashulia industrial belt on the outskirts of the capital staged demonstration demanding Tk 16,000 as the minimum monthly wage for apparel workers instead of the existing Tk 5,300.
Apparel factory owners fired more than 3,000 workers and filed criminal cases against 1,500 workers for taking part in the demonstration demanding pay hike.
During the demonstration, the government and the BGMEA termed the workers’ demand illogical and unlawful.
Recently, three trade union federations, including IndustriAll Bangladesh Council, made appeal to BGMEA seeking wage hike of workers in the wake of increasing living costs.
There are around 4,500 export oriented RMG units with 44 lakh workers, mostly located in Dhaka, Ashulia, Narayangonj, Gazipur and Chittagong. 

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