RMG workers demand Tk 5,000 minimum wage
Garment workers yesterday demanded at least Tk 5,000 as minimum wage to help them cope with what they said the recent price hike of essentials, and get a better life standard.
They also asked for ensuring safety at workplace and Tk 10 lakh compensation for the family of each worker who died in fire incidents or other accidents that took place inside the factories.
The demands came at a discussion organised by Garment Shramik Sangram Parishad (a platform of garment workers) in Dhaka.
The garment workers also urged the government to bring changes to labour regulations.
Dr Wazedul Islam, coordinator of Shramik Karmachari Oikyo Parishad and general secretary of Bangladesh Trade Union Kendra, said the real wage of the workers must be adjusted to the price hike of essentials and inflation.
He also stressed amendment to Bangladesh Labour Act 2006 in line with ILO (International Labour Organisation) conventions.
The Parishad placed a seven-point demand including, punishment of non-compliant factory owners, shutting down the factories that lack basic safety measures and ensuring proper supply of gas and electricity to the factories.
Fazlul Hoque, president of Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association, said there is no doubt that the workers' wage should be increased.
However he said the ability of the industry, productivity and inflation need to be considered.
He said both workers and owners should be patient and work together.
Hoque called upon the workers to leave the labour leaders who exploit them, provoke rampage in the factories and destroy properties.
Manzurul Ahsan Khan, president of Communist Party of Bangladesh, Saiful Haque, general secretary of Biplobi Workers Party, Tipu Bishwash, coordinator of Jatiya Gana Front, Ruhul Amin, general secretary of Bangladesh Garment Shramik Trade Union Kendra, Advocate Farida Yasmin, deputy director of Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust, and Advocate Nesar Ahmed, former chairman of Labour Court Bar Association, also spoke.