Pay hike for garment workers governmental matter: BGMEAStaff Correspondent
Entrepreneurs in the garment and textile sector on Wednesday said that the decision to hike the wages of garment factory workers was a governmental matter and they would discuss the issue when the government considers it necessary.
‘If the government feels that the workers’ demand for pay hike is logical, then discussions between the government and owners will be arranged in due time,’ Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association’s president, Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin, told reporters in reply to a question on pay hike at a press briefing.
Pay hike was not in the list of garment workers’ demands even a few days earlier, but it came up after union leaders raised the demand while labour unrest was going on in Ashulia and Savar, he claimed.
Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association, Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association and Bangladesh Textile Mills Association jointly organised the briefing on the current situation in the garment and textile sectors.
Garment factory workers on Monday made seven demands, including the formation of a new wage board, higher wages and announcement of 50 per cent Dearness Allowance.
Various associations of garment factory workers put forward their demands in a letter submitted to the BGMEA and BKMEA.
The demands include an increase of the minimum basic wage from Tk 3,000 to Tk 7,000, and introduction of full rationing and formation of trade unions in all factories.
‘We do not consider the workers’ demand to be unreasonable in the context of the present inflationary pressure, but it is not possible for us to increase wages right now as they were doubled one and half years ago,’ said BKMEA’s president AKM Selim Osman.
Urging the workers not to go for any further movement or unrest till Eid-ul-Azha in order to keep the garment sector sustainable, he said that factory owners were discussing with the government the overall situation and the problem would be solved through discussion.
Referring to pay hike, he said that there were many other industrial sectors in the country, so no one can take a decision alone.
BTMA president Jahangir Alamin, BKMEA vice-president Mohammad Hatem, BGMEA vice-presidents Faruque Hasan and Siddiqur Rahman were also present at briefing.
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