6 years ago

Study suggests pressing for living wage in RMG sector

FE file photo
FE file photo

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To ensure living wage for the country's garment sector, a new study report released on Saturday suggested pushing continuously to increase the minimum wage.

"Bangladesh is currently at the minimum stage of 'minimum' wage. Eventually we can get to living wage by continuously pushing minimum wage up," said the study.

It further suggested that the implementation scope of minimum wage should be expanded considering the number of dependent family members, updated need of food, housing, healthcare and children's education.

The study titled "Moving towards living wage in the RMG sector in Bangladesh: What will it take?" by Care Bangladesh was presented at a workshop held at a city hotel.

Executive director of South Asian Network on Economic Modeling (SANEM) Dr Selim Raihan presented the study findings at the workshop where Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, chairman of Palli Karmo-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF), was chief guest.

Centre for Policy Dialogue research director Khondaker Golam Moazzem and Bangladesh Institute for Labour Studies executive director Syed Sultan Uddin Ahmed were present at the event, moderated by Humaira Aziz, director, Women and Girls' Empowerment of Care Bangladesh.

The PKSF chairman stressed the need for collective movement to fix the wage amount, which makes a worker capable to lead a decent life.

Ration, accommodation, education and healthcare  must be provided along with minimum wage by the government or the factory owners, he said, adding that there is no need to consider owners' capability as they have the capacity.

Mr Moazzem suggested for being aware of 'wage politics'. Work load has gone up in line with the wage hike, he said, and recommended identifying 'what is productivity and what is overwork'.

The wage should be the amount which helps a worker along with his dependent ones leading to a decent life, said Mr Sultan Uddin. Wage should be fixed based on law, but in reality it is decided politically, he added.

The study suggested the government to provide healthcare services at the public hospitals. It also suggested identifying the industry players, not capable to implement the wage, for incentivising them.

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