Considering the current high inflation, Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) President Faruque Hassan has urged the government to form a new wage board for readymade garment (RMG) workers.
“Workers are our main force. I previously urged the government to form a new wage board for workers. Now I am urging them through you [journalists] again to form it as soon as possible,” he told reporters at a press conference in Dhaka on Monday.
The existing wage structure for RMG workers was announced in December 2018, which will expire after 2023. It states employers are bound to increase workers’ salaries by 5 per cent every year based on basic wages.
But workers refused to accept the wage structure at the time and announced protests demanding a revision.
After eight days of labour unrest in a row starting on January 6 in 2019, the government announced a revised pay structure.
The apparel workers’ call to raise their wages recently got louder as soaring inflation has made it difficult for them to bear daily expenses with the existing salaries.
Faruque said global inflation had gone up, especially in the BGMEA’s export destinations, due to the Russia-Ukraine war. “This has reduced the demand for our products, which will go down even further in the future.”