This Star file photo taken recently shows a female garment worker is busy threading clothes at a factory in Gazipur, Bangladesh.
Garment makers today threatened to shut down all factories if the government does not review the recommendation of making workers' minimum wage Tk 5,300 within the next 15 days .
They deem the sector will lose competitiveness once the amount is implemented.
The leaders of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) and Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA), two platforms of apparel makers, will appeal to the wage board for reviewing the recommendation tomorrow.
“The recommendation of Tk 5,300 as minimum wage for the entry-level workers is a suicidal thinking for the sector. The garment sector is not capable to pay this amount,” said Atiqul Islam, president of BGMEA, at a joint press conference at the trade body’s office in Dhaka.
“The recommendation is an indiscretion as the board chairman finalised it without the consent of the owners’ representative on the board. This recommendation has some other motives as everybody knows that the sector is not capable to adjust the amount. We all are rejecting the recommendation,” Islam said.
“Our recommendation is Tk 4,500 per month. The board will have to follow our recommendation,” he said.
Islam said the garment makers will meet Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and will seek an exit policy from the government if their recommended salary of Tk 4,500 is not finalised.
He said the garment sector will lose 37 percent competitiveness if the recommended salary is implemented as the cost of production increased by 13 percent over the last few years.
Before the press conference, the BGMEA and BKMEA held an urgent meeting with their general members where they rejected and opposed the recommendation.