The government has taken a move to review wages of the workers and employees of private jute mill sector six years after such revision.The government has taken a move to review wages of the workers and employees of private jute mill sector six years after such revision.As per the Bangladesh labour law, the minimum wages for a sector must be reviewed after each five-year period.
The minimum wages for the workers of jute mills owned by private sector entrepreneurs were last reviewed in 2013 setting with gross minimum monthly pay of Tk 4,380. The labour ministry on June 24 issued a gazette notification appointing representatives from owners and workers from the private jute mill sector to the minimum wage board. Rajbari Jute Mills Ltd chairman Sheikh Shamsul Abedin has been appointed as the owners’ representative to the wage board while Khulna Mohsen Jute Mills Workers Association leader Md Shahidullah Khan has been appointed as workers’ representative.
Shahidullah said that although he was appointed as workers’ representative to the wage board, production in his mills had remained suspended for the last few months.‘Considering the price hike of essential commodities, the wages for the private jute mill workers and employees should be liveable,’ he said.Shahidullah demanded minimum wages for the private jute mills workers equivalent to the minimum wages of the workers of the state-owned jute mills.Last year, the government set minimum basic wage for the workers of state-owned factories at Tk 8,300.
In addition with the basic pay, workers of the government industries get house rent at 50 per cent of basic wage, medical allowance at Tk 1,500, conveyance allowance at Tk 200, washing allowance at Tk 100 and tiffin allowance at Tk 200.‘Workers of mills under Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation and private jute mills do same types of jobs and both procure daily essential commodities from the same market. So the wages of workers of private mills should be equivalent to the wages of workers under BJMC,’ he said.
Abedin, owners’ representative to the wage board, said that there was no wage-related problem or unrest in the private jute mill sector as all the owners implemented the government-set wage structure.Hopefully the board would set minimum wages considering the capacity of the industry, he said.According to Abedin, there are around 130 jute and spinning mills with more than 1.20 lakh workers in the private sector.