Workers have been protesting for the past two weeks demanding an increase in the minimum wage
Photo: Tawhiduzzaman Tapu
The government has set a minimum wage of Tk 12,500 for garment workers by increasing the basic wage by 56.25 percent, which will be effective from December 1.
Minister of State for Labor Mannujan Sufian announced the new wages for garment workers in a press conference at the Secretariat on Tuesday. Before that, this wage was finalized in the sixth meeting of the board formed to determine the wages of garment workers in the Labor Building.
Before coming to the press conference, the State Minister of Labor held a closed-door meeting with representatives of the employers and workers in his office at the Secretariat.
In the press conference, the state minister said, as per the recommendation of the wage board, the minimum wage has been announced for the owners and workers. Working people have been agitating for a long time for wage increase.
“Tell the owners to open factories, tell the workers to join the work. The 5 percent increment remains in place.”
In December 2018, the government announced new wages for garment workers for five years. Accordingly, the workers demanded to announce the new wages by November 30.
The government formed the Minimum Wage Board last April to fix the minimum wages of garment workers. In the fourth meeting of this board on October 22, the representative of the labor side proposed a minimum wage of Tk 20 thousand 393. And the owner offers a wage of 10 thousand 400 taka.
Garment workers started agitation in Gazipur from October 23 when word spread that the minimum wage has been set at Tk 10,400. Later it spread to Ashulia, Savar and Mirpur in Dhaka.
In many places, the workers started vandalism and clashed with the police. At least two people were killed in the clashes and the setting fire to a factory. More than five hundred factories were closed down in stages to deal with the situation.
Garment workers agitating for salary increase also set fire to two buses and vandalized several cars in Gazipur on Tuesday.