The minimum wage board formed to review wages for readymade garment workers requested on Monday representatives of the factory owners and the workers to the board to reconsider their respective wage proposals submitted by them to the board on July 16.
The factory owners’ representative formally proposed Tk 6,360 as the minimum monthly wage for RMG workers, while the workers’ representative proposed Tk 12,020.
‘We have asked the representatives to the board to review their respective wage proposals so that the gap between the two proposals can be narrowed,’ Syed Aminul Islam, chairman of the board, told reporters after the fourth meeting of the board held at the board’s Topkhana Road office in the capital.
He said that the board requested the owners’ representative for an upward revision and the workers’ representative for a downward revision.
‘Both the representatives assured the board that they would take necessary measures in this regard through discussions with the respective sector leaders,’ the board chairman said.
‘Hopefully, the board would be able to yield a fruitful result on the review in the board’s next meeting to be held on September 12,’ Aminul said.
He also said that board members discussed the wage proposals in detail and the capacity of factory owners and the needs of workers would be considered with equal importance in setting wages for the readymade garment workers.
Aminul said that the tenure of the board would end on October 17 as the government extended its tenure for two more months.
‘We will finalise the wage recommendation on time and it would be sent to the labour ministry by October 17,’ he said.
Dhaka University professor Kamal Uddin, the independent member of the wage board, said, ‘We have requested the owners’ and workers’ representatives to review the wage proposals placed by them as the board does not want to impose any decision on any party.’
The positions held by the owners’ representative and the workers’ representative over the minimum monthly wage are not rational, he said.
Owners’ representative to the board Md Siddiqur Rahman, also the president of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association, said that whenever the new wage structure for workers was announced, it would be implemented from December this year.
During the meeting of the wage board, labour rights groups staged demonstration in front of the board office demanding Tk 16,000 as the minimum wage for garment workers.