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Apparel workers demand Tk23,000 as minimum wage

Staff Correspondent
18 Feb 2023 00:00:00 | Update: 18 Feb 2023 00:27:40
Apparel workers demand Tk23,000 as minimum wage
Garment workers hold a rally in the capital’s Mirpur on Friday – Courtesy Photo

Readymade garment workers on Friday demonstrated in Dhaka demanding a minimum monthly wage of Tk 23,000 nationally, considering the increased prices of daily commodities and the rising cost of living.

The Garments Sramik Karmachari Oikya Parishad and Industry All Bangladesh Council jointly arranged a rally and a procession in the Mirpur area at 4pm with labour leader Sima Aktar in the chair, according to a press release.

At the rally, the labour leaders said the prices of daily essentials, house rent and overall living costs have gone up significantly and RMG workers have been severely struggling but no proper wage board has been set yet for them.

They demanded that the authorities concerned must set the minimum monthly wage for garment workers at Tk 23,000 immediately, fix five grades instead of the existing seven grades in the wage structure and introduce ration at subsidised prices for them.

Labour leaders Sirin Shikdar, Abdul Wahed, China Rahman, Khushbu Ahmed Rana, Mofijur Rahman Babul, Rabeya Sultana Rani and several others addressed the events. After the end of the rally, the workers brought out the procession which paraded different Mirpur roads.

As per the 2018 pay scale, RMG workers currently receive Tk 8,000 as the lowest monthly wage.

In light of the ongoing high inflation, different labour organisations have been demonstrating to push for some demands, including forming a new wage board as soon as possible, putting their representatives on the board, a 10 per cent yearly increment, a 40 per cent allowance in case of delay in forming the new wage board, starting ration for them, and a 70 per cent basic from gross wage.

The RMG industry, which started its journey four decades ago, is now the powerhouse of Bangladesh’s economy. Around 80 per cent of the country’s total export earnings come from this sector, which employs more than 4 million people.