Many garment makers yet to apply new wage
Many garment owners are yet to employ the new pay scale more than one month after the implementation date.
Take, for instance, Khokan Das, a worker at a Narayanganj-based garment factory. Under the new wage structure, his monthly salary from December 1, 2013 was supposed to be Tk 10,900 but he continues to receive the same pay as before, which is Tk 9,000.
The management has even rebranded the factory a textile one so as to avert paying wages under the new pay scale, Das said.
The new wage structure, which offered a 77 percent pay rise, is not applicable to the textile sector.
The management also renamed Das's designation of quality inspector to clothes checkers, he added.
Many workers are in the same boat as Das.
Mohammad Sagar, a worker at a factory at the city's Mirpur area, also said they are not being paid under the new pay scale.
When asked, Atiqul Islam, president of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association, said: “We have already sent out instructions to the garment factories for strict implementation of the new wage for the workers.”
But, it might take time for implementation of the new structure as owners are facing financial problems over the last few months for political unrest, he added.
Mikail Shipar, labour secretary, said no-one is yet to complain to the government about the lack of implementation of the new pay scale. “If there is any problem in implementation of the wage we will hold dialogues to resolve it.”
Sirajul Islam Rony, workers' representative in the recently-defunct wage board for garment workers, said a meeting with the factory owners and government officials is scheduled for January 15 to discuss the progress made on implementation of the new pay scale.
The government on November 21 last year published the gazette announcing the new wage structure, finalising after months of negotiations between the stakeholders.