BGMEA asks buyers to pay fair price : RMG workers to get dues before Eid

August 30, 2010

Readymade garment (RMG) factory owners yesterday have announced that they will pay dues and festival allowances to the workers before Eid.
They also said that with the help of Government they will take necessary steps to implement the decision if some factories fail to pay.
Labour minister Khandker Msharraf told newsmen after a tripartite meeting that, “If they (owners) fail to pay their workers’ dues for financial crisis, Bangladesh Garments Manufacturer and Exporters Association (BGMEA) and Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) will take steps. But both the associations and the government will be strict against those who delay the payment intentionally.”
He said, “Representatives of the owners have decided to pay up before Eid. The government will also come to the assistance of the workers in this respect.”
Regarding road blockades by RMG workers the minister said, “Such activities will not be allowed. The authority will take firm steps to keep them off the streets.”
President of the parliamentary standing committee on labour ministry Israfil Alam, labour secretary Nurul Haque, commerce secretary Gholam Hossain, FBCCI president AK Azad, BGMEA president Abdus Salam Murshedy and BKMEA president AKM Selim Osman also attended the meeting.
In the afternoon the BGMEA requested the foreign apparel buyers and their representatives to pay fair price so that they can easily implement the newly announced wage structure for the RMG workers.
They made the call in an Iftar party hosted by the organisation in honor of the ambassadors of the foreign missions and foreign apparel buyers and their representatives at the Radisson Water Garden hotel.
Around 40 apparel buyers and their representatives in Bangladesh attended the Iftar. Commerce minister Faruk Khan, chairman of Parliamentary standing committee on labour Israfil Alam, MP, representatives from the Overseas Correspondents Association of Bangladesh (OCAB) were also present on the occasion.
BGMEA president Abdus Salam Murshedy in his speech highlighted the present situation of the RMG industry and the challenges it is facing.
“The global economic crisis exerted its negative impact on world apparel imports at the outset leading to drastic price slash. Despite the world economy started to reveal the signs of recovery over the past few months, the price level of apparel imports did not see any sign of improvement yet. ”
“On the contrary, cost of raw materials has skyrocketed with the cotton price hike in the international market. The overhead expenses have also increased substantially and one of the major reasons has been the intensifying crisis of gas and electricity in the country. ”
Murshedy said that while the industry is struggling with all these adversities, the increasing pressure of inflation on workers livelihoods has also become a major concern for the entrepreneurs and it was felt necessary to review the minimum wages.
After a series of tri-partite meetings between the government, workers, and owners the minimum wage board announced the new minimum wage with a record increase of around 80 per cent on an average.
Murshedy mentioned that such a wage hike has been accepted by the owners considering the overall situation. He said that a fair wage is predominant for a decent living which cannot be ensured by the manufacturers alone at the present pricing context. The BGMEA chief urged for a fair price from the buyers to jointly ensure a healthy industry and secured society.
Faruk Khan said that the government is aimed to establish a strong foundation for industrialisation as per the vision 2021.
The vision stands to alleviate poverty through employment generation. He said that the government has equally responsibilities toward the industry and the workers, and he thanked the entrepreneurs of the RMG industry for accepting the new wage structure despite facing all the odds. He said that RMG is one of the most important pillars of the economy.

 

Courtesy of The New Nation

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