RMG Wage: Owners, labour leaders agree to wait until Nov 21

Workers urged to get back to work, ensure smooth production

 

Owners and workers’ leaders of the country’s apparel sector on Friday agreed to wait until November 21 for a final decision on the new minimum wage structure and maintain an uninterrupted production refraining from destructive activities.

 

“We’ve agreed to wait until November 21. The workers leaders also agreed to refrain from vandalism, demonstrations and join works for maintaining an uninterrupted production,” BGMEA President M Atiqul Islam told reporters at a press conference.

 

He said their goal is the same — taking forward the industry maintaining smooth production and refraining from activities that tarnish the image of the sector and country. “We call upon the workers across the country to return to their works and ensure a smooth production,” Atiqul Islam said.

 

Responding to a question, the BGMEA President said they have no disagreement as all have agreed to work together to ensure discipline in the vital sector.

 

Earlier, the leaders of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) held nearly a two-hour meeting with the representatives of 52 workers’ organisations at the BGMEA conference room.

 

BGMEA Vice President Reaz-Bin-Mahmood Sumon, former President of Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) AK Azad, Bangladesh Garment Sramik Federation President Jahanara Begum, Bangladesh Garment and Industry Workers Union Council General Secretary M Touhidur Rahman, Vice President of Garment Workers Trade Union Center Ziaul Kabir Khokan and its General Secretary Kazi Ruhul Amin were, among others, present.

 

Trade Union leader Ruhul Amin said they have time until November 21 for putting forward further recommendations and objections on the daft final wage structure.

 

He also urged the workers to return to work and said they will come up with their observations after November 21.

 

However, another trade union leader who preferred not to be quoted told UNB that they have some disagreement with the owners.

 

“We’ve objections to basic salary. For example, the basic is Tk 3,200 (Gross Tk 5,300). We want it to be Tk 3,600 while the owners want to make it Tk 3,000. We’ll take it up with the board,” he said.

 

On November 13, the owners of ready-made garment factories agreed to pay Tk 5,300 in minimum wage for entry-level workers.

 

The announcement came after a meeting of representatives of the garment owners with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at her official residence Ganobhaban, the chief of the apparel trade body said.

 

The new wage structure is likely to be implemented very soon, most probably in December.

 

On July 6, a six-member minimum wage board was formed to re-fix the wage.  On November 4, the minimum wage board recommended a Tk 5,300 minimum wage, which was rejected by both the workers and owners.

 

Though the RMG worker organisations are demanding the minimum wage to be fixed at Tk 8,114, the owners are showing reluctance to accept even the lower amount recommended by the wage board.

Source: UNB Connect

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