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Apparel entrepreneurs agree on Tk 5,300 minimum pay

imagesDHAKA, NOV 13: Despite their preliminary opposition, garment factory owners on Wednesday night (13 November 2013) agreed to pay workers Tk 5,300 as the minimum monthly wage fixed by the government.

Representatives of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) and Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) agreed to accept the new wages for workers in a meeting with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at her official residence. Wage board negotiator Arshad Jamal said, “BGMEA and BKMEA representatives have agreed to pay workrs the new wages.” He also said that the new wage structure is likely to be implemented from the next month.

“It will be implemented as soon as the gazette notification is made. So it is most likely to be implemented from December.”

Talking to The Independent over phone, BGMEA President Atiqul Islam said that they have accepted the new wage structure following the prime minister’s request and for the greater interest of the nation.

He, however, urged the prime minister to arrange an ‘exit plan’ for those who would not run their factories following the pay-hike of workers, and can get scopes to repay their bank loans.

Earlier owners of all garment factories at Ashulia on the outskirts of the capital decided to keep their factory units closed for another day on Thursday for security concerns following agitation and vandalism by workers.

All factories in the area remained closed on Wednesday for the same reason.

After the meeting with the prime minister, BGMEA vice-president Riaz Bin Mahmood announced that all factories will remain open on Thursday.

On November 4, the Wage Board, formed to fix the minimum monthly wages for garment factory workers, recommended Tk 5,300 as the minimum wage, including food subsidy, amid objections from factory owners. The factory owners rejected the proposal, terming it exaggerated and beyond the ability of the owners to pay. The owners also proposed Tk 4,250 while the workers demanded a monthly minimum wage of Tk 8,114.


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