Union leaders reject proposed RMG wage | The Daily Star
12:06 AM, November 11, 2013 / LAST MODIFIED: 10:25 PM, November 10, 2013

Union leaders reject proposed RMG wage

Sramik Karmachari Oikya Parishad (SKOP) yesterday once again rejected the wage board's recommended minimum pay of Tk 5,300 for garment workers and went on to reiterate its demand for Tk 8,000.
The country's top trade union also demanded introducing social safety nets such as rations, housing and free medical treatment for garment workers.
“The minimum wage must be reset at Tk 8,000 considering the irrational hike in prices of essential commodities and other costs of living,” said Chowdhury Ashiqul Alam, member secretary of SKOP, a platform for trade union leaders.
A six-member wage board on November 4 proposed Tk 5,300 as the minimum salary for garment workers. However, owners rejected the proposal the same day.
The proposed minimum wage is not enough if market prices are taken into account, Alam said at a press briefing at the SKOP office in Dhaka.
“The recommended salary is not enough for a worker to survive. It will be difficult to maintain the current level of productivity, let alone productivity enhancement.”
The board fixed Tk 3,200 in basic pay, Tk 1,280 in house rents and Tk 320 in medical allowances. It also included Tk 200 in transport allowance and Tk 300 in food subsidies.
On owners rejecting the proposed salary, he said: “They are not only refusing the minimum salary, they are also threatening to shut their factories.”
“Their aggressive behaviour and instigating remarks will hamper the relationship between the owners and workers.”
Alam also criticised the wage board for proposing the minimum wage at Tk 5,300, comprising Tk 3,200 as basic salary and Tk 2,000 as other allowances.
“In addition to increasing the minimum salary, we are also demanding that workers receive rations for rice, lentils, edible oil and sugar, free medical treatment and housing,” said Alam, also general secretary of Trade Union Sangho.

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