Ready-made garments workers are expressing their disappointment with the newly established minimum wage, which they believe falls short of their expectations, especially given the current high inflation.
The Minimum Wage Board for the ready-made garments sector has finalized the increase in RMG workers’ minimum wage to Tk 12,500 from Tk 8,000, representing a 56% increase.
Shipla Akhter Ruby, a swing operator at JK Garments in Savar, commented, “There is no reason to be happy about Tk 12,500. With the rising prices of daily necessities, at least Tk 20,000 is needed to survive in this market.” Her colleague, Munni Akhtar, standing next to her, echoed the same sentiment.
On October 21st, RMG workers took to the streets demanding an increase in their minimum wage from the existing Tk 8,000 to Tk 20,390. Factory owners proposed Tk 10,400, leading to the final figure of Tk 12,500 after weeks of protests. Md Mokhleshur Rahman, a textile factory worker, expressed his disappointment, saying, “I had hoped that the minimum wage would be at least Tk 14,000 or Tk 15,000. Given the current prices of essential items, it has become very difficult for workers to survive.”
An operator from another factory, who preferred to remain anonymous, said, “We won’t benefit much from the newly set wage. House rents and prices of goods will increase. But if wages were at least Tk 15,000, with controlled prices for goods and house rents, it would be manageable.”