Ready-made garment workers have sought the Prime Minister’s intervention to enhance their minimum monthly wage to Tk 8,000.
The demand was made from a rally at Dhaka’s Suhrawardy Uddyan on Saturday.
Workers of several factories had blocked roads and ran riots at Gazipur and Savar as authorities allegedly denied them leave to attend the rally which was led by Shipping Minister Shajahan Khan.
The government had taken initiatives to raise salaries of garment workers against the backdrop of the deaths of over 1,000 workers in the Savar building collapse and a fire at an Ashulia factory last November.
However, garment owners object to the workers’ demand of raising the minimum wage to Tk 8,000.
At Saturday’s rally, garment workers coordination council convenor Shajahan Khan urged the owners to take steps to enhance the minimum wage of the workers.
On Jul 27, 2010 RMG workers’ minimum salary was fixed at Tk 3,000. Allegations have it that this was not implemented properly.
Speakers at the rally hoped the Prime Minister would intervene in fixing the new salary structure.
Last June, the US cancelled duty-free access of Bangladeshi goods following the Rana Plaza crash and the Tazreen Fashions fire. The US said the move aimed at ‘pushing’ Bangladesh improve safety in the garment sector.
The RMG workers urged the government to bolster steps to revive the GSP facility.
Bangladesh is the second largest exporter of ready-made garment products trailing China. Cheap labour has made the country a lucrative investment option for investors. The sector contributes up to 80 percent to Bangladesh’s export income.
The platform also demanded putting a halt to the activities of Chittagogn-based Hifazat-e Islam for its ‘derogatory remarks’ against the women garment workers.
Minister Khan urged the workers to vote the Awami League to power in the forthcoming national polls.
“All the garment factories will be shut down if forces supporting the war criminals come to power,” he warned.