A garment worker has to work 28 hours more a month than the working hours stipulated in labour law 2006, a study has revealed.
Besides, garment workers work 2.5 extra hours on an average after regular eight-hour duty.
They work 60 additional hours a month which is 30 per cent more than normal working hours.
The study report on the living standards of garment workers titled 'Kee Kore Banche Sromik' was released on Monday at an agitation programme on minimum wage of garment workers in front of the National Press Club in the city.
Bangladesh Garment Sramik Sanghati, a platform of 12 rights groups, organised the programme.
A memorandum was also submitted to the wage board chairman and a study report was published after the agitation programme.
The study was conducted among 200 garment workers of 31 factories between June and August this year. The survey was carried out among five types of workers including helper, general operator, junior operator, operator and senior operator. They constitute 90 per cent of the total garment workforce.
According to the report, the labour law states that a worker can work 224 hours a month including overtime.
But a worker works 192 hours as regular duty and 60 hours overtime. Some workers even engage themselves more in overtime for 80 to 100 hours a month and conceal it from their families. A garment worker's work is equivalent to 13 years if he works in a factory for 10 years.
The workers surveyed said they earn Tk 235 a month as attendance bonus. But 91 per cent of them did not get the money for all the months in last one year. Because the authority cut the bonus even if the worker fails to attend on emergency situation or reach the factory late.
A worker has to work 60 hours overtime to get Tk 1,915. The factory authority does not mention the actual overtime hours in the pay slip as the labour law has stipulated working hours.
The garment workers cannot work for a long time.
The highest 38 per cent workers work for three years or less while 32 per cent for more than six years and 30 per cent for four to six years.
In the programme, the leaders of Bangladesh Garment Sramik Sanghati said eight months have already passed after formation of the wage board.
Although it is mandatory for the board to announce the wage within six months, the wage has not been declared yet.
It was also found in the study that 92 per cent of the workers took loan due to imbalance in income and expenditure.
About 68 per cent of workers reduce food expense, 43 per cent switch to lower rented house and 38 per cent bring money from village home.
The study showed that Vietnam has set minimum wage for its workers at US$ 100 while India at US$ 78, Cambodia at US$ 128, Pakistan at US$ 99 and the Philippines at US$ 150. Bangladesh has fixed minimum wage for the workers at US$ 68.
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