RMG minimum wage finalisation held up by hartal | The Daily Star
12:04 AM, October 28, 2013 / LAST MODIFIED: 10:50 PM, October 27, 2013

RMG minimum wage finalisation held up by hartal

The new wage structure for garment workers was not finalised yesterday as previously announced, after two of the six-member wage board failed to attend the meeting due to hartal, said board chairman AK Roy.
Yesterday's meeting has now been rescheduled to October 31, Roy told journalists at the board office in Dhaka yesterday. “We want to complete the process as soon as possible as the board has time only up to December 26.”
The absentees at the meeting were Arshad Jamal Dipu, owners' representative, and Kamal Uddin,  an independent member of the board, he said.
“If the board fails to finalise the minimum salary by October 31, we will sit with different labour organisations and decide our next course of action,” said Sirajul Islam Rony, workers' representative on the board, while warning of fresh labour unrest if the announcement of the new structure is delayed any further.
Meanwhile, Dipu said the new wage will take effect from November, regardless of the timing of finalisation of the salary structure.
“I was going to the board meeting. But, the decision was changed due to hartal. I hope I will be able to submit the proposal on Thursday's meeting as all the formalities has been completed.”
Dipu said the owners have already finalised the minimum salary at Tk 4,500 per month and the government might increase it to Tk 5,000.
He said the garment sector has been passing through troubled times after the Rana Plaza building collapse, as the international retailers are reducing work orders.
“We are worried over the present situation of the garment sector and the 25 percent shortage of skilled workers in the sector.”
Originally, the workers' representative bargained for a minimum salary of Tk 8,114 per month, while the owners' representative was willing to provide a 20 percent raise to Tk 3,600.
The labour and employment ministry formed the wage board in June.

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