The government formed the minimum wage board on Sunday to review the wages of the workers of the country’s ready-made garment (RMG).
In this regard, the Ministry of Labour and Employment has announced the selection of the board representatives from the owner’s and workers’ sides of the RMG sector in a circular.
The government took the initiative to review the minimum monthly wages of workers and employees five years after the last review undertaken in 2018.
According to the circular, Sirajul Islam Rony, president of the Bangladesh National Garment Workers Employees League, and Md Siddiqur Rahman, former president of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), have been named as the owners’ and workers’ representatives, respectively.
The senior district judge Liaquat Ali Molla serves as the chair of the wage board, which has four permanent members.
Other permanent members of the board are Bangladesh Employers’ Federation representative Moksud Belal Siddiqui, workers’ representative and Jatiya Shramik League leader Sultan Ahmed, and independent member and Dhaka University Professor Md Kamal Uddin.
The last minimum wage was reviewed in 2018 and set at Tk 8,000 for an entry-level worker with Tk 4,100 as basic pay, Tk 2,050 as house rent, Tk 600 as medical allowance, Tk 350 as transport allowance, and Tk 900 as food allowance.
Labour leaders are demanding a hike in wages, ranging from Tk 20,000 to Tk 25,000 as minimum monthly wage for entry-level workers due to the high inflation and abnormal hike in the price of daily necessities.
They are also demanding a 65% hike in the basic pay for the 7th grade, the lowest grade in the wage structure of the garment workers, saying the government had announced minimum wages for the RMG workers four times since 2006, but unfortunately, basic wages decreased every time in the name of increasing allowances.