The latest wage board that recommended the new salary structure for the garment workers did not adjust the five per cent annual automatic increment with the basic of the new structure, the findings of the Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) said today.
As a result, on an average in all seven grades of the garment workers, 26 per cent salary did not increase despite a hike in the salary recommended by the wage board, the TIB findings also said.
The wage board was supposed to add five per cent annual increment for the last five years since 2013 with the basic pay of the latest salary structure, the TIB also said.
“The safety in the garment sector improved a lot after the Rana Plaza collapse incident six years ago. Remarkable progress has taken place in safety, salary and in building other institutional capacities over the last six years,” said Iftekharuzzaman, executive director of the TIB at a press conference at his office in Dhaka.
The TIB held the press conference to share its findings on ‘good governance in the RMG sector: progresses and challenges’ on the occasion of the sixth years of the Rana Plaza building collapse that killed 1136 workers and left injured more than 2,500 workers on April 24 in 2013.
Citing the findings, he said the factory owners increased the production target between 30 per cent and 36 per cent with the hike of the salary that came into effect from December last year.
As a result, the RMG workers are under pressure mainly to fulfil the time-bound production target, even they cannot go to the toilets to meet the target timely, he said.
If the production target is not be achieved in some cases, the workers have to work without pay or have to face abusive words from the officers, he said.
He said nearly four lakh workers have lost their jobs due to an inspection of the factories by the Accord and Alliance.
However, all workers were not paid the compensation money due to losing of their jobs. Some 6,676 workers got their compensation money from as they lost the jobs.
Even there are complaints against the officials of the department of trade union registration as a section of officers of this office takes Tk10,000 to Tk15,000 for registration of a trade union, he said.
The TIB executive director suggested for abolishing the prowess of an employer in terminating the workers, introduction of maternity leaves for garment workers for 24 weeks instead of 16-weeks, setting up a speedy trial tribunal for quick settlement of the cases those are pending for many years and reinstatement of the workers in their jobs those who were terminated during the labour unrest for wage hike last year.