6 years ago

TUs demand Tk 16,000 as minimum wage for garment workers

10pc annual increment, perks among other demands placed with BGMEA

FE file photo
FE file photo

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A labour coalition demands Tk 16,000 as minimum monthly wage, with 10 per cent annual increment, for the workers of country's readymade garment sector.

Garment Shramik Odhikar Andolan, a platform of 12 labour organizations, placed Tuesday a six-point charter of demands with the owners.

Their other demands include permanent rationing system, contributory provident fund and variable dearness allowances for the workers.

The platform submitted their charter of demands to Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), as part of their current campaigns spearheaded after the owners' voluntary decision on the formation of wage board.

It announced a series of programmes across the country in favour of its demands after the formation of the new wage board for the sector for reviewing the minimum wages of RMG workers on January 14.

Criticising the process of the formation of wage board, the labour leaders alleged that the government appointed labour representatives to the board ignoring the demand of the garment-sector workers' leaders.

"Without movement the interests of the RMG workers will not be protected in the wage board as the government and the workers' representatives are actually representing the factory owners," said Garments Sramik Oikya Forum president Mushrefa Mishu at a demonstration in front of the BGMEA headquarters in the city before submitting the memorandum.

She said the standard of living of garment-factory owners in Bangladesh is most luxurious in the world while country's RMG- sector workers are the lowest paid in the world.

The government and factory owners always spoke of success of the garment sector but both of them are united to deprive workers, Ms Mishu claimed.

Workers who raise their voice for wage hike have been terminated and cases filed against them on charge of sedition, the trade-union leader told the gathering.

Bangladesh Garment Shramik Sanghati president Taslima Akhter said request from BGMEA for forming wage board was nothing but an election-year ploy of the government.

"The BGMEA leaders are requesting government for forming wage board and, on the other hand, police have been posted at branch offices of trade unions situated in the industrial belt following the formation of the board," she said.

She alleged that the government and BGMEA are planning to pass unilateral recommendations through the wage board as the real representation of workers is absent from the board.

Garment Shramik Odhikar Andolan coordinator and also president of Bangladesh Textile-Garment Workers' Federation Mahbubur Rahman Ismail called upon the workers and workers' leaders to be cautious so that factory owners cannot deprive them of their legitimate demands.

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