Garment workers demand salary hike
A platform of garment workers' associations yesterday demanded a minimum wage of Tk 8,000 at entry level, up from Tk 3,000 now, against the backdrop of rising price of essentials and house rents.
Garment Sramik Sangram Parishad, the platform of eight garment workers' rights bodies, also demanded 10 percent salary increment annually and a month's salary as bonus before every festival.
The government formed a wage board in June to revise the wages of the garment workers.
“We want 166 percent pay hike to Tk 8,000 at the beginning level for a worker to maintain a healthy life,” said Rafiqul Islam Pathik, coordinator of the platform, at a press conference at Nirmal Sen auditorium in the city.
“If calorie needed for a human being is taken into consideration, a garment worker must have Tk 8,000 per month to meet the demand.”
Most of the workers remained deprived of the minimum wages at different factories in the country, Pathik said.
“If we make a comparative study of hike in the prices of essentials and wage structure of the workers, it would reveal the fact that their wage has decreased over the years,” he said.
In a written statement, he said a five-member family needs a minimum monthly amount of Tk 20,300 for subsistence.
The major expenses include food cost at Tk 14,100, house rent at Tk 3,000, medical and transportation costs at Tk 1,100, children's education expenses at Tk 1,500 and others Tk 600, Pathik said.
“Majority of the garment workers live below the poverty line,” he said.
The wage board in 2010 had set the minimum monthly pay of garment workers at Tk 3,000 raising it from Tk 1,662.50 after considering the workers' demand for raising the same to Tk 5,000.