Raising demands for wage hike, a forum of readymade garment (RMG) workers at a recent event organised by the Garment Workers Front in Dhaka, urged the government to fix Tk 15,000 as the minimum wage for RMG workers.
Participating in a discussion at the event, the speakers underlined the need to increase the minimum wage in view of the rising costs. They referred to a study conducted by Dhaka University’s Food and Nutrition Science Institute, which stated that an adult male, for an average 10-hour workday, needed at least 3,364 calories and an adult female 2,406 calories. Keeping that in mind as well as the rising costs, the speakers highlighted that a family of five people needs around Tk 24,500 a month to bear the expenses of food and other ancillaries.
Taking part in the discussion, president of Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB) Mujahidul Islam Selim accused the Bangladesh Government of being “negligent” about the RMG workers.
“The government has set the salary of its own office assistants at Tk 13, 800,” Selim said, adding, “Garment workers are more skilled… The government should set Tk 15,000 as the minimum wage for the workers.”
Drawing comparison between global standards and the existing scenario in Bangladesh RMG industry, another speaker, leader of Bangladesher Samajtandrik Dal (BaSaD), Khalequzzaman said that a worker in America gets a minimum wage of US $ 15 (an equivalent of Tk 1178.23) per hour, whereas a worker in Bangladesh can be hired for Tk 5,300 a month. Khalequzzaman also reportedly called upon all workers’ bodies to unite against the salary discrimination.
National Committee to Protect Oil Gas Mineral Resources Power and Ports Member Secretary Anu Muhammad, Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB) President Mujahidul Islam Selim and Bangladesher Samajtandrik Dal (BaSaD) leader Khalequzzaman were among the speakers who participated in the event.