The previous RMG wage board set Tk5,300 as a minimum with the basic salary of Tk3,000 for entry-level garment workers
Garment factory owners and workers were yesterday told to rethink their respective minimum wage proposals by the board tasked with recommending a fixed monthly figure to the government.
The previous RMG wage board, formed in the aftermath of the Rana Plaza collapse in 2013, set Tk5,300 as a minimum with the basic salary of Tk3,000 for entry-level garment workers and a 5% yearly increment on the basic amount.
A new proposal by workers-nominated representative Shamsun Nahar Bhuiyan to raise this to Tk12,020 is facing stiff resistance from the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) president, Md Siddiqur Rahman, who wants to fix the minimum wage at Tk6,360.
Minimum Wage Board Chairman Syed Aminul Islam said the board had discussed both proposals – and one placed by the Centre for policy Dialogue (CPD) – at its fourth meeting held in the capital yesterday.
“After reviewing the proposals, we have agreed that industry’s capacity and workers’ basic needs need to be taken into account in fixing the minimum wage, ” he told the Dhaka Tribune after the meeting.
“Considering the realities, we have requested both the workers and owners to reconsider their earlier proposals so that a consensus is reached.”
Syed Aminul Islam said both parties had undertaken to consult with their forums and reconsider their respective proposals ahead of the next meeting on September 12, where they will place their revised proposed wage structures.
BGMEA President Md Siddiqur Rahman said the wage issue was being discussed based on related data and recommendations made from different organizations.
“The board has set another meeting on September 12 as no concrete decision was taken at today’s meeting,” he said.
“We are trying to reach a consensus taking the industry capacity and basic needs of workers into consideration.”