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Bangladesh organisations urge brands to support worker’s demand

Ahead of the Minimum Wage Board meeting in Bangladesh, to set the new statutory minimum wage for garment industry workers in the country, Clean Clothes Campaign, the International Labor Rights Forum and Maquila Solidarity Network jointly urged major brands sourcing from Bangladesh to publicly support workers’ demands. These demands include the minimum wage of 16,000 taka, a statutory framework to govern pay grades and promotion and other welfare measures.

Additionally, brands expressed commitment to fully respect and support the outcome of the wage negotiation process. Multistake holder initiatives including Fair Wear Foundation, Dutch Agreement on Sustainable Garments and Textile, and the German Partnership for Sustainable Textiles also urged the Bangladeshi government to take the workers’ and unions’ collective demand into account, and highlighted the overall support for the payment of living wages.

Beside the minimum wage increase to 16,000 taka, workers’ demands include the streamlining of the job grades that determine workers’ pay from seven to five; the introduction of currently inexistent promotion criteria; a 10 percent annual pay increase; and a shortening of apprenticeship periods to the maximum of three months, along with a wage increase for apprentices from 4,180 taka to 10,000 taka.