Tk 25,000 minimum wage for RMG workers
Economists, lawmakers and leaders of garment workers yesterday demanded that the government set Tk 25,000 as monthly minimum pay for RMG workers.
They also urged the government to facilitate the new wage board, formed on April 9. Eleven rights organisations held an open discussion titled "Wage Question and Garment Workers' Movement" at the capital's Purana Paltan under a joint initiative named "Movement of RMG Workers for Increasing Wage".
Speakers said the minimum wage should be in accordance with current market values.
Prof Anu Muhammad said the price of basic necessities have increased everywhere, yet neither the wages of RMG employees nor those in other sectors have.
"Unfortunately, inflation has become a weapon of the state, government, and market owners to oppress the labour population, creating discrimination," he added.
Mujahidul Islam Khan Selim, former president of the Communist Party of Bangladesh, said first and foremost, it is necessary to improve the law ensuring workers' wages. The production cost should determine the workers' wage, yet this basic principle is disregarded in modern culture, leaving workers in a state of uncertainty, he said.
Taslima Akhter of Bangladesh Garments Sramik Sanghati emphasised that the new wage board was established in an undemocratic manner without consulting the labour unions.
The meeting also addressed issues such as -- ensuring shifts and overtime; repeal of the Prohibition of Strikes Essential Services Bill, 2023; a stop to retrenchment of workers, false cases, attacks and torture; introducing rationing system permanently, and factory owners and government's accountability for improving workers' quality of life.