Labour bodies stage demo rejecting new wage for RMG workers

14 Sep,2018

Garment labour organisations on Friday staged demonstration in front of the National Press Club in Dhaka rejecting the government announcement of new minimum wage Tk 8,000 for apparel workers.

They called for its review immediately to set the wage Tk 16,000.

Leaders of the organisations vowed for greater movement if the government not met their demand.

Garment Workers Trade Union Centre, Garment Worker Odhikar Andolan, a platform of 12 labour organisations, and Garment Workers’ Front hold separate demonstration in the capital to place their demand.

The workers blocked capital’s Topkhana Road in front of the National Press Club for half an hour disrupting traffic movement.

GWTUC general secretary Jolly Talukder said that the minimum monthly wage Tk 8,000 was unrealistic and deception with 40 lakh workers of the highest foreign currency earning sector for the country.

Communist Party of Bangladesh president Mujahidul Islam Selim said that considering price hike and inflation, workers should demand minimum wage Tk 21,000 but they demanded Tk 16,000 but the government cheated with them.

‘The workers will never accept it,’ he said asking workers to take preparation for a greater movement to achieve their labour rights.

The government on Thursday declared minimum wage Tk 8,000 for the garment workers increasing Tk 2,700 for the existing wage Tk 5,300 set in 2013.

State minister for labour and employment Md Mujibul Haque announced the wage and said it would come into effect in December.

Executive president of GWTUC Kazi Ruhul Amin said that government announced the wage to please the factory owners.

Mahbubur Rahman Ismail, coordinator of the platform of 12 labour organisations, said that workers would stick to their demand for minimum wage of Tk 16,000.

He said the wage board announced an unrealistic and unfair wage, deceiving the workers.

In 2016, the apparel workers started demonstration at Ashulia, on the outskirts of the capital, demanding minimum wage Tk 16,000 as the authorities did not hike their wage with the price hike of goods.

Later in January this year, the ministry of labour and employment formed the wage to avoid further unrest.

The owners proposed Tk 6,360 and the workers demanded Tk 12,020 to the wage board. Both the parties stood their ground proposing Tk 7,000 and Tk 12,000 respectively.

Amid the situation the government announced Tk 8,000 as minimum wage which the factory owners accepted but the workers rejected.

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