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Bangladesh body proposes wage hike

The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) has proposed a minimum 50 per cent  wage hike for garment workers. This decision has been arrived at considering inflation, price index, nutrition, transport and house rent.

Bangladesh had set up a panel to raise the minimum wage for garment workers following a factory collapse that claimed over 1,000 lives. The panel was made up of factory workers, factory owners and government representatives. In 2010, Bangladesh increased the minimum wage for garment workers by 80 per cent following worker protests. The first minimum wage board was constituted in 1994. 

A revised minimum wage could help women working in harsh conditions who have few other places to go to.  Garment workers have been agitating for better pay and working conditions in recent months since inflation has been high. These workers sew clothes that earn the country foreign currency, so they feel they deserve a better deal.

However, garment manufacturers are unhappy. They say that since a minimum wage was fixed as recently as 2010, it should be reviewed at a later date. They say they are suffering because of missed shipments and disrupted production due to strikes and that a minimum wage provision will hurt them.


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