Wage Board fails to finalise minimum wage for RMG workers

Wage Board fails to finalise minimum wage for RMG workers

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The board formed to fix the minimum wage afresh for the garment workers at its meeting on Thursday failed to reach a consensus in finalising a new wage structure for them. “We’ve held a marathon meeting today, but couldn’t reach a consensus in finalising a new wage structure for the RMG workers as the owners’ representative proposed Tk 4,250 as minimum wage,” Sirajul Islam Rony, the workers’ representative to the board, told UNB. He said Dr Kamal Uddin, an independent member of the wage board, proposed Tk 5,000 at the minimum wage for the workers. “But we’ve no room to accept his proposal as it’s a very poor amount.” Rony said, “We’ve made a proposal of Tk 8,114 as the minimum wage in today’s meeting, but the owners’ side didn’t accept it. We’ve taken time up to November 4 next. We’ll place a fresh proposal to the board after negotiation with all the workers’ bodies.” Owners’ representative Arshad Jamal Dipu told reporters after the meeting that at first he had proposed Tk 4,250 as minimum wage at today’s meeting, but later it enhanced to Tk 5,000. The manufacturers of readymade garments (RMG) proposed minimum wage for garment workers at Tk 4,500 before the wage board today. Earlier, Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) decided to raise the basic wage of the workers to Tk 2,600 from the existing Tk 2,000, Tk 1,040 as 40 percent house rent, Tk 240 as medical allowance, Tk 250 as transportation allowance and Tk 300 as food subsidy. However, the labour leaders still stuck to their demand for Tk 8,114 as the minimum wage. In June this year, the Labour and Employment Ministry formed a six-member wage board, headed by K Roy, a former district judge, giving six months’ time to fix the minimum wage for the garment workers. The third wage structure came into effect on November 1, 2010, when the minimum wage of garment workers was increased to Tk 3,000 per month from Tk 1,662.50. – UNB

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