a year ago

RMG wage board to sit on May 24

Govt formed the board on April 09

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The members of the wage board for the country's ready-made garment (RMG) industry will sit on May 24 to review minimum wage for the sector's workers amid demands for a hike to Tk 23,000.

The RMG workers' wage was last reviewed in 2018, and Tk 8,000 was set as the minimum monthly wage for an entry-level worker.

"The newly-formed minimum wage board for the RMG sector workers will hold its first meeting on May 24," a labour ministry official said.

The board members will discuss different aspects and finally make recommendations. It will take some time for submitting their final proposal, he added.

The government formed the minimum wage board on April 09 by announcing appointments of representatives of the RMG sector owners and workers for the board to make their recommendations for the workers' wage hike.

Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) former president Md Siddiqur Rahman and Bangladesh National Garment Workers Employees League president Sirajul Islam Rony were appointed the owners' and workers' representatives respectively.

The wage board has four other permanent members, headed by a senior district judge.

An entry-level garment worker is currently receiving Tk 8,000 as minimum monthly wage with Tk 4,100 as basic pay, Tk 2,050 as house rent, Tk 600 as medical allowance, Tk 350 as transport allowance, and Tk 900 as food allowance.

Labour leaders in different programmes, demanded Tk 23,000 as minimum wage with 65 per cent basic payment.

In recent months, labour organisations demanded rise in minimum monthly wage ranging from Tk 20,000 to Tk 25,000 for the entry-level workers, taking high inflation into consideration.

Talking to FE, Socialist Workers Front President Razekuzzaman Ratan said the representatives of Sramik Karmachari Oikya Parishad (SKOP) made a proposal of raising minimum wage to Tk 23,000 with 60 per cent basic pay hike for the seventh grade, the lowest grade in the garment workers' wage structure.

The government has announced minimum wage for the RMG workers four times since 2006. But unfortunately basic wage has decreased every time in the name of increasing allowances, he alleged. As a result, their income from overtime and annual increment has not increased much, as these are calculated based on basic wage, he explained.

RMG industry is the largest foreign currency earning sector that fetched US$42.61 billion in the last fiscal year. It was about 82 per cent of the country's total $52.08 billion export earning, according to official data.

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