RMG industry to tally new wage structure from tomorrow

October 31, 2010

Bangladesh’s garment industry will be tallying a revised wage structure for the workers from Monday as declared by the government and factory owners’ organizations.
Industry observers say the even after his or her minimum wage of has increased by 80 per cent in the new wage structure, a Bangladeshi garment worker would be receiving the lowest than the workers in major apparel exporting countries.
According to the new wage structure, the minimum wage of an entry level Bangladeshi garment worker or helper is Tk 3,000.
Leaders of the garment factories owners on Saturday promised that the revised wage structure would be tallied from Monday and would be disbursed with their payment in December.
At a meeting with leaders of the more than 40 organizations of garment workers, leaders of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association reiterated their promise to implement the new wage structure.
The meeting, held at BGMEA Bhaban and presided over by association president Abdus Salam Murshedy, was attended by chairman of the parliamentary committee on labour, Israfil Alam MP.
Leaders of the factory owners sought supports from the garment workers’ organizations in preventing any unrest in the garment sector before Eid-ul-Azha.
Israfil Alam told the workers’ representatives that each and every factory would have to pay their November payments according to new wage structure.
Spending several months on tripartite negotiation, a revised wage structure was declared at the end of July and it was formally finalized last week.
Minimum monthly wage of a garment worker in Cambodia is $61, it ranges between $65 and $90 in Vietnam and Indonesia and $ 90 to $160 in different provinces of China.
In the new wage structure, the monthly minimum wage of Grade 7 or entry level workers has been fixed at Tk 3,000, up by 80 per cent from the earlier Tk 1,662.
Workers’ representatives had earlier demanded Tk 6,200 in wage for entry level workers.
A Grade 6 worker would now get Tk 3,330, up from Tk 1,851; Grade 5, Tk 3,553, up from Tk 2,046; Grade 4, Tk 3,861, up from Tk 2,250; Grade 3, Tk 4,218, up from Tk 2,449; Grade 2, Tk 7,200, up from Tk 3,840 and Grade 1, Tk 9,300, up from Tk 5,140.
‘Despite Bangladesh is a major source for global apparel market, wages of workers here are much lower than global average,’ said a senior executive at the Dhaka office of an European retailer.
Suggesting the government and industry to sincerely implement the revised wages structure, he said. ‘Even if the small number of factories disobey the new wage structure, protests will be there damaging the image of Bangladesh’s RMG industry industry.’
Rafiqul Islam, a labour activist, says, ‘A perception has been built globally that Bangladeshi factory owners are habitually bad employers, the industry here is a trouble spot and the workers suffer deprivation.’
‘Factory owners should make sincere efforts in monitoring the implementation of revised wage structure and develop industry’s image,’ Rafiq said. ‘A good industry image will pay off by raising the price of garments.’
Syed Sultan Uddin Ahmed, executive director of Bangladesh Institute Labor Studies, suggested that the government and trade unions should take up communication and awareness programmes so that all workers understand the break-ups of the new wage structure.
‘Stakeholders could make it totally difficult for even a single employer who continues depriving the workers of their legally entitled wages,’ said Sultan.


Courtesy of NewAge

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