With almost all factories reopening and workers returning to their workplaces, normalcy has started resoring in the Bangladesh garment industry, said Faruque Hassan President, Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA). Only a few factories in Ashulia continue to remain close though they are expected open soon, Hassan added. The association has been successful in getting minimum wages for workers in Bangladesh increased to Tk 12,500, equivalent to around $113.63, from Tk 8,000 at present.
In a letter to the American Apparel & Footwear Federation (AAFF), Hassan also sought higher prices from retailers and brands such as AEO Inc, Adidas, Amer Exports, Hugo Boss. Under Armour, etc in line with the hike in the wages.
Factories are also upgrading machine, process and production methods to ensure workplace safety, comfort for workers and to reduce fatigue, Hassan added. He believes implementing the new wage structure would prove challenging for many factories given the current economic and financial circumstances. However, the association remains committed to ensure a decent living to garment workers, he reiterated. He called for an adjusted in prices of all goods shipped from December 1, 2023, to cover the increase in wages.