The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) is keen on reaching a settlement on minimum wage for garment workers by negotiating with labour unions before submitting the final proposal to the newly formed wage board. The government formed the wage board on January 14 to review minimum wages for readymade garment sector workers.
BGMEA leaders say they were trying to reach a compromise over minimum wage to stall any possible workers’ unrest during negotiations by the wage board.
The trade body held a meeting with the RMG sector trade union federations’ leaders and asked their cooperation to keep workers calm during the negotiation. The BGMEA held meeting with leaders of 16 garment worker federations affiliated with IndustriALL Bangladesh Council and the trade body would hold another meeting with the leaders of other federations next week.
BGMEA vice-president Mahmud Hasan Khan Babu said, ‘It was a regular meeting with the IBC leaders and we have sought their cooperation to set the minimum wage for the garment sector without any untoward situation.” He also said that on the first day of the discussion the BGMEA had gained a deeper understanding of the issue at hand.
Union leaders demanded Tk 16,000 as the minimum wage and further discussion on the amount would be held in the next round of meeting. Babu said, “To avert any untoward situation centring setting of the minimum wage for RMG workers, we want to settle the amount through negotiations with labour leaders.”