The wage board will finalise the salary structure for garment workers on November 21, as the board recommended Tk 5,300 a month, Labour Secretary Mikail Shipar said yesterday.
The board gave 15 days to stakeholders such as garment owners, rights groups and workers to express their opinions after the recommendation was made on November 4.
“I hope the wage board will finalise the salary on that day. We don't want to see any unrest in the garments sector,” Shipar told The Daily Star by phone after a meeting with leaders of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association at the secretariat in Dhaka.
Some agitated workers have been vandalising factories almost every day since the recommendation was finalised; owners have also suspended production fearing unrest as garment makers have rejected the recommended wage scale.
The garment makers agreed to Tk 4,500 a month as the minimum salary, while workers are demanding Tk 8,114.
At the meeting, owners said they will agree to pay Tk 5,300 as the minimum salary if the government withdraws the 0.8 percent tax at source and reinstate privileges on exports as the garment business has become more competitive now, Shipar said.
“I will send my notes to the finance ministry to meet the demands of the owners,” he said. However, he declined to mention a definite amount that the board might fix.
“The wage board will announce the minimum wage on November 21, whether the finance ministry fulfils their demand or not. We cannot damage the garment industry anymore.”
After the meeting, BGMEA President Atiqul Islam said they want a win-win wage structure where both the owners and workers benefit equally. “I hope the board will announce the minimum wage on November 21.”