Apparel workers’ concerns ignored in final wage structure recommendations

web-rmg-workers

Representatives from trade unions claim the Tk8,000 minimum wage for apparel workers is insufficient for them to meet their basic needs Mehedi Hasan/Dhaka Tribune

Being aggrieved by the proposed wage rates, several trade union leaders lodged objections with the wage board, demanding a raise in the proposed pay structure and proportionate increases to the salaries of other grades

Ignoring the objections and observations of major trade unions in the apparel sector, the Minimum Wage Board for Garment Workers has finalized its recommendations without any changes.

The Board submitted its recommendations to the Labor and Employment Ministry last week, for the next course action by the government.

In a gazette notification issued on October 8, the Wage Board recommended Tk5,975 as the gross monthly pay for apprentice workers, and Tk8,000 as the minimum monthly wage for operators. It also sought written objections or suggestions on their draft recommendations from trade unions and apparel factory owners within 14 days of the notification.

Being aggrieved by the proposed wage rates, several trade union leaders lodged objections with the wage board, demanding a raise in the proposed pay structure and proportionate increases to the salaries of other grades.

According to sources at the Minimum Wage Board, over 300 recommendations were submitted by factory owners, while 12 were submitted by trade unions.

In a meeting on October 24, the Wage Board decided to finalize its draft recommendations and submit them to the Labor and Employment Ministry without any changes.

In mid September, State Minister for Labour and Employment Md Mujibul Haque Chunnu announced Tk8,000 as the new minimum monthly wage for the apparel workers. Of the total, Tk4,100 has been set as basic pay, Tk2,500 as house rent, Tk600 as medical allowance, Tk350 as  transport allowance, and the remaining Tk900 as food allowance.

“In line with the 5% annual increment on basic salary, the minimum wage for a seventh grade worker stood at Tk8,900, but the government set Tk8,000 per month as the minimum wage,” Bangladesh Garments Sramik Sanghati President Taslima Akhter told the Dhaka Tribune.

“With this amount, it is quite impossible for a worker to meet their basic needs. That is why we urged the Board to increase the basic salary and give proportionate increments to other grades in our objections,” she added.

“We have received the final wage structure from the Minimum Wage Board, and subsequently formed a committee to review the recommendations,” State Minister Chunnu said.

“It will be finalized after revision, but there is no chance of changing the gross salary, as the amount was unequivocally agreed by representatives from workers, owners and the government,” he added.

Regarding the demand for proportionate increments to other grades, the minister said it would depend on the findings of the committee, but there will be no changes unless there are major problems.

The Wage Board has recommended Tk8,399 as gross monthly pay with Tk4,366 as basic salary for grade VI, Tk8,855 with Tk4,670 as basic salary for grade V, Tk9,245 with basic salary of Tk 4,930 for grade IV, Tk9,578 with basic salary of Tk 5,152 for grade III, Tk14,621 with basic salary of Tk8,514 for grade II, and Tk17,504 with Tk10,436 as basic salary for grade I employees.

Source: Dhaka Tribune.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *