The government committee has agreed, in principle, to raise basic pay of certain grades in the new wage structure for garment workers, insiders said.
The committee, however, decided not to recommend enhancing the gross wages under grades three to five, they said.
The decisions came at the second meeting of the committee headed by labour secretary Afroza Khan held at her secretariat office in the city on Saturday.
The 20-member committee was formed and assigned to submit their report with recommendations to address the grievances regarding the new wage structure for garment workers within one month against the backdrop of ongoing labour unrest in different industrial zones demanding wage hike.
"Since there were grievances of workers and there were inconsistencies in basic pays under grades three to five, the committee, in principle, agreed to recommend for the hike in basic pays for those grades," a meeting participant said.
"But there might be no change in gross wages."
The payment for allowances, overtime, festival bonus and other service-related benefits depend on basic pay, the meeting source added.
President of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin, president of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) Md Siddiqur Rahman, former president Abdus Salam Murshedy, Industrial Police additional inspector general Abdus Salam and labour leaders Nazma Akter, Amirul Haque Amin, Touhidur Rahman, among others, were present in the meeting.
Labour leaders, in the meeting however, called for reviewing the basic pay under grades one and two, saying agitation might occur once basic salary is increased in grades three to five, according to people who attended the meeting.
The FBCCI president said, "We are trying to reach a consensus over the basic pay rise under grades three to five so that it doesn't create anxiety among workers under the grade two."
Calculation is required as there are differences in opinions between garment factory owners and workers' representatives, he said, expressing the hope that the issue would be resolved shortly.
The meeting, however, urged the agitating workers to return to their respective workplaces and wait until any decision regarding the wage adjustment comes from the government.
The new wage structure, effective from the last December, fixed basic for three, four and five grades at Tk 5,160, Tk 4,930 and Tk 4,670 with gross Tk 9,590, Tk 9,245 and Tk 8,855 respectively.
The gross payment for the entry level garment workers has been fixed at Tk 8,000, about 51 per cent hike from Tk 5,300. The gross wages included basic pay of Tk 4,100.
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