Members of a wage board yesterday failed to reach a consensus to fix the monthly salaries for garment workers, as the owners' representative did not mention any amount yet.
The panel held its fourth meeting since the publication of a notice on June 13. At the third meeting, the workers' representative recommended a minimum of Tk 8,114 in monthly salary, excluding other benefits.
“But many owners do not have the ability to pay the amount,” Arshad Jamal Dipu, owners' representative in the board, said after the meeting.
Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association will hold two extraordinary general meetings in Dhaka and Chittagong to seek opinions from garment owners to finalise the salaries, he said. “After the EGMs, we will sit again on September 17.”
The owners prefer to keep other benefits, like lunch bills and attendance bonus, out of the basic salaries, as these are not mandatory, he said.
“We will mainly consider the inflationary pressure and some major economic indicators while fixing the salaries,” Dipu said.
“We have proposed Tk 8,114 considering the daily intake of kilo calorie by the workers and other daily expenses,” said Sirajul Islam Rony, workers' representative in the board. The amount excludes other current benefits.
“We will sit with the international retailers and brands before finalising the salaries, as their opinion is also necessary in the salary hiking process,” Rony said without mentioning the date of the meetings.
The government announced the wage board for garment workers in May in the wake of labour unrest and two major industrial disasters—Tazreen Fashions fire in November last year and Rana Plaza collapse on April 24.
Earlier, the government raised the minimum monthly wage to Tk 3,000 in November 2010 from Tk 1,662.5.