The minimum wage board, formed to review the wages for the readymade garment workers, is going to hold its second meeting on July 8 almost four months after holding its first meeting on March 14.
As per the decision of the first meeting of the board, the second meeting should be held on April 25 but it was deferred at least two and a half months due to the busyness of owners’ representative to the board.
According to a source inside the board, the workers’ representative to the wage board will submit proposals of minimum wages in the second meeting and the amount of proposed minimum wage likely to be Tk 16,000.
The minimum wage board had decided in its first meeting that the representatives of both factory owners and workers would submit separate proposals of minimum wages to the board in the second meeting.
Following the first meeting, the workers’ representative started process to prepare the proposal of wages and hold meetings with several garment sector trade union federations.
‘We will submit our proposal to the wage board before the second meeting. I hold meeting with almost all the labour federations in RMG sector over the issue and the proposed amount would be finalised by a further meeting with labour leaders,’ Shamsunnahar Bhuiyan, workers’ representative to the board told New Age.
Declining to disclose the amount of proposed minimum wages for the RMG workers, she said that most of the trade union federations demanded Tk 16, 000 and two federations demanded Tk 18,000 as minimum wages.
One of the sources involved with the process said that the proposed amount of minimum wage would not be less than Tk 16,000.
Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association sources said it was not sure whether the owners’ representatives would submit its wage proposals to the board before the second meeting as the owners’ representative to the board Md Siddiqur Rahman, president of the BGMEA, is now in abroad.
Following the formation of the wage board, BGMEA formed an internal committee comprising its president Md Siddiqur Rahman, former presidents Tipu Munshi, Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin and Anwar-Ul-Alam Chowdhury Parvez, vice president Mahmud Hassan Khan Babu and director Arshad Jamal Dipu to look into the wage board related issue.
According to the BGMEA sources, the owners’ representative would prepare wage proposal as per the decision of the meeting of internal committee but the committee is yet to set.
The government on January 31 issued a gazette notification announcing the name of the owners’ and workers’ representatives of the board to review the monthly minimum wages for garment workers.
The move came after the BGMEA on November 8 requested the labour ministry to form a minimum wage board to review the existing wages of the garment workers.
The present minimum monthly wage for the garment worker is Tk 5,300, which was set in 2013.
The first minimum wage board for garment workers was constituted in 1994 that fixed Tk 940 as minimum wage per month and the second one formed in 2006 fixed the minimum wage at Tk 1,662.50 while third board was formed in 2010 fixed minimum wage at Tk 3,000.