Labour leaders demand early payment for workers | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, July 29, 2012 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, July 29, 2012

Labour leaders demand early payment for workers

Bangladesh Trade Union Centre (BTUC), a platform for industrial workers, yesterday urged all factory owners to clear off their payroll before the 2oth of Ramadan.
“All privately-owned factory owners will have to pay off the monthly salaries, overtimes and festive bonuses by August 13,” BTUC President Sahidullah Choudhury said, while threatening labour unrest if payment did not arrive in time.
Deferral of payment during festivals is a common occurrence as garment owners fear workers leaving the organisation upon receiving full pay.
"Inflation is eating into the workers' earnings. The government must look into this issue at the earliest to prevent further unrest," said Dr Wazedul Islam Khan, general secretary of BTUC.
He urged the government to make available cheaper victuals and arrest the spiralling house rents for the half a million workers, along with increasing the 'dearness allowance' by 30 percent given the higher price of essentials.
Garment exports last year, at $19 billion, accounted for 80 percent of total national exports.
The sector is a mainstay of the country's economy, comprising of 4,500 factories employing 40 percent of the country's industrial workforce.
In 2010, following months of unrest the government and factory owners jointly decided to increase the minimum wage by 80 percent to $37 per month.
The sector which relies on cheap labour to compete on the global stage is again facing calls from BTUC for a rise in minimum wage.

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