The government has put forth a draft recommending an increase in the minimum monthly salary for RMG workers to Tk 12,500, up from Tk 8,000. The Minimum Wages Board issued a gazette notification on Saturday regarding this proposal, inviting written objections, appeals, or suggestions within 14 days. The board will forward the final proposal to the government after considering any feedback or objections within the stipulated timeframe, as mentioned in the notification.
In response, trade unions submitted a written appeal to the Ministry of Labour and Employment on Sunday, deeming the proposed amount insufficient for maintaining a decent standard of living amid the current severe inflation. They urged the prime minister to reconsider the wage proposal, as she did in 2018 and earlier.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina had previously set Tk 12,500 as the minimum monthly salary for RMG workers, and the new wage structure is expected to be effective from December 1. State Minister for Labour and Employment, Begum Monnujan Sufian, announced this decision on November 7.
The announcement faced resistance from RMG workers, leading to protests in various areas, including Dhaka and Gazipur. Clashes resulted in injuries to both workers and law enforcement personnel, with at least four RMG workers, including a woman, reported dead in confrontations over the past few days.
Workers have been demanding a monthly minimum wage of Tk 23,000 since last year, considering the high inflation in the country. However, their representatives proposed a minimum wage of Tk 20,390.
As per the draft proposal, the government suggests gross wages of Tk12,500, with Tk6,700 as the basic salary for assistant operators under grade-5. This is followed by Tk 13,025 gross wages, with Tk 7,050 for general operators under grade-4, Tk 13,550 gross salary, with Tk 7,400 for junior operators under grade-3, Tk 14,150 gross salary, with Tk 7,800 basic wage for operators, and Tk 14,750 gross, with Tk 8,200 as the basic wage for senior operators.