Garments factory owners have urged their association to increase minimum wage for workers by not more than 20 per cent and set the hike commensurate with the rate of inflation.This demand was raised at an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) recently. The meeting discussed fixing of minimum wages, preparation of biometric database of workers, amended labour law 2013 and the role of owners in implementing the steps taken by the clothing buyers’ ‘Accord’ and ‘Alliance.’
Every factory has to make fire and building safety assessments, said BGMEA President Atiqul Islam, urging owners to remove the tin-sheds from the rooftops to create 25 per cent open space for the compliance of fire safety.He also said the BGMEA has heard the owners’ voice and would take the decision on minimum wage considering their demands.
The country has witnessed 19.53 per cent inflation from 2010 and the trade body would like to offer 19-20 per cent wage hike as inflationary adjustment, said Arshad Jamal Dipu, a member of the wage board representing the owners. The wage should be based on the country’s socio economic status, he added. Production cost has increased due to compliance of fire and building safety while devaluation of Indian Rupee increased competitiveness in the global market.
The minimum wage should be fixed at a level which is affordable to all kinds of owners and the ultimate impact of the wage in the sector should be considered, saidAbdus Salam Murshedy, former BGMEA president.DipuMunshi, a former president of the apex apparel body, said minimum wage should not be beyond the limit of owner.A minimum wage proposal of Tk8,114 has already been placed from the part of workers before the wage board.