Overseas employers have been asked to offer higher wages if they were serious about recruiting skilled apparel workers from Bangladesh.
Rights campaigners, women leaders and government officials raised the demand at a workshop in the capital.
The workshop for Strengthening Migrant Labour Hiring Practice was jointly organized by Bangladesh Overseas Employment Service Limited, better known as BOESL and Amman based Jordanian apparel firm Classic Fashion.
Classic Fashion director for management services Sridhar Rajagopal said that Jordan, which exports readymade garments worth $1.9 billion, set the goal of exporting readymade garments worth $ five billion in the near future.
He said that Classic Fashion recruited most of its apparel workers from Bangladesh.
BOESL general manager Md Salim Mollah said that it was essential for the overseas employers to double the wages of Bangladeshi garment workers as their wages had been increased in Bangladesh.
Officials of Bangladesh Wage Earners’ Welfare Board, the ILO and the International Organization for Migration took part in the discussions.
The workshop over at BOESL office at Probashi Kalyan Bhaban in the capital, migrant rights campaigners, women leaders and government officials told New Age that Bangladeshi garments workers employed in Jordan, Mauritius and Bahrain were paid lower wages, compelled to work overtime without any extra payments and were provided with unhealthy accommodations.
Now, over one lakh Bangladeshi apparel workers are employed abroad and 50per cent of them were sent by the country’s lone state owned recruiting agency BOESL.
Karmojibi Nari director for programme Sunzida Sultana told New Age, since garment workers were drawing better wages in Bangladesh, overseas employers should increase their wages by at least two times.
She said that garment workers should be sent abroad after making them proficient in the spoken language of the host country.
Bangladeshi Ovhibashi Mohila Sramik Association director Sumaiya Islam said, ‘Our apparel workers are discriminated with regard to payment of wages compared to fellow workers from the other countries.
She demanded insurance coverage for the apparel workers abroad.
Awaj Foundation director Anisur Rahman Khan called for enhancing the wages of ‘our workers abroad.’
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