The struggle for the rights of working people is very old. Bangladesh is no exception. Today, those whose economy of needle-threaded garments has crossed 4500 crores are protesting for reasonable wages. According to the rules, the government has been forming the minimum wage board for the purpose of improving the living standards of the workers for 5 consecutive years. This board has been constituted for the seventh time this year after 2018. In the sixth meeting of the board today at 11 am on Tuesday, the wages for the workers of the garment sector for the next 5 years may be finalized. However, exact information is not available on how much the minimum wage will be fixed
According to a source, the owner may offer Rs 12,000 to 13,000. That is why 4 million workers and their family members are looking at how much the percentage of minimum wage will be increased this time.
Chairman of the Minimum Wage Board Liaqat Ali Molla told Kalbela that the Wage Board has been formed with the objective of fair wages for the workers. Owner-employee differences were always present. still have That’s why we put all parties on board. Hopefully, through dialogue, to a logical stage
can be reached, which will be finalized later through the ministry.
It is known that the number of workers working in the garment factories of the country is about 40 lakhs. They claim that the owner’s offer of 10,400 rupees is not acceptable in the current market conditions. They are agitating for a minimum wage of 23,000 to 25,000 taka. Although the representative of the labor side in the wage board has proposed a wage of Tk 20,993, which the owner does not want to accept. However, even if they agreed to increase the wages by withdrawing from the previous proposal, the exact amount to be increased will be finalized through discussion in the board meeting, said Siddiqur Rahman, former president of BGMEA, the representative of the owners.
On the other hand, analysts say that workers, employers and government representatives should sit on the wage board and come up with an acceptable solution. If there is a difference of opinion in that case, the matter can be resolved through the Prime Minister.
Khandkar Golam Moazzem, head of the research department of the Center for Policy Dialogue (CPD), a private research institute, said that the demands of the workers should not be seen as their problem, but rather as a weakness in the proposals of the owners. If the owner’s proposal is viewed in dollars (US), then in 2018, 8 thousand taka. At that time, the price of the dollar was 84 rupees. At that time, 8 thousand taka was 94 dollars. Now if the wage is 10 thousand 400 taka – 110 taka as a dollar, the wage is 95 dollars. In other words, the proposal of the owner has only increased by 1 dollar. So such an offer does not carry any value. Therefore, the owner must provide a rationale. So that it can be discussed. And if the problem is not solved, in that case it can go to the Prime Minister.
Minimum Wage Board and Minimum Wage Structure: The minimum wage for garment workers in 1986 was Rs.627. In 1994, it was increased by 44.33 percent to Tk 930. Then in 2006 it was increased by 78.71 percent to 1 thousand 662 taka, in 2010 it was increased by 80.51 percent to 3 thousand taka, in 2013 it was increased by 76.67 percent to 5 thousand 300 taka and in 2018 it was increased by 50 percent to 8 thousand taka.