With the Bangladesh Wage Board all set to meet on Wednesday (August 29) to decide on the base wage for apparel workers, international rights bodies and labour rights forum has given a clarion call to the major brands sourcing from Bangladesh to publicly support the workers’ demand for minimum wage of Taka 16,000.
The Clean Clothes Campaign (CCC) and Maquila Solidarity Network jointly urged brands to support the demand for minimum wage of Taka 16,000, a statutory framework to govern pay grades and promotion and other welfare measures while also expressing gratitude to Inditex – the owner of Zara, Bershka, Pull and Bear and several other labels – who were the first to publicly respond in a positive manner.
Inditex reportedly published a statement on their website, in which they wrote: “We believe in the right of workers to a living wage, in Bangladesh and in all the markets from which we source. Therefore we expect the collective demands of workers, expressed through their legitimate unions including IndustriALL Bangladesh Council, to be taken into account, and the current negotiations used to reach agreement for a fair increase in the minimum wage that preserves the right of workers to a living wage.”
Appreciating the move, Ineke Zeldenrust from CCC maintained, “We welcome this statement, and based on the responses received in the last few days we fully expect other leading brands to issue their own public statements in support of workers’ demands, or publicly support the statement made by Inditex.”
It may be mentioned here that in the third meeting of the wage board, labour leaders reportedly proposed BDT 12,020 as the base wage while the garment manufacturers proposed a minimum wage-rate of BDT 6,360.