The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) has put forward a proposal to the Bangladesh government to alter labour laws and establish ‘wage boards’ to bring in a minimum monthly wage for workers in the country’s ready-made garment (RMG) segment. Workers’ rights in the country has been a topic of debate as the complex situation in post-Rana Plaza Bangladesh continues to divide opinion.
Post Accord’s extension until 2021 the question of workplace safety has been widely discussed including the fact that many units claim to adhere to guidelines and also claim to be investing in factory/safety programmes, however, people in the industry and employees are wondering when wage board for apparel workers will be implemented. Siddiqur Rahman, President, BGMEA, says despite adverse situation the sector is currently undergoing, a minimum wage board for re-fixing wages of garment workers in line with the provision of the labour law need to be made.Wage boards have been implemented in the past. The first minimum wage was established in 1994 when the rate was Tk 940; in 2006 it was Tk 1,662.50; in 2010 it was Tk 3,000; in December 2013 it fixed the minimum wages for garment workers at Tk 5,300.