DHAKA: The government Thursday announced Tk 3,000 as the minimum wage for readymade garment workers, nearly doubling the amount from Tk 1,662.50, although the labour side stuck to their guns for a much higher pay.
Labour and Employment Minister Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain made the announcement at his secretariat office. “The minimum wage for apprentice workers has also been fixed at Tk 2,500,” he said.
The new wage scale will be effective from Nov 1 “after completion of legal procedures”, he told reporters.
Of the minimum wage, Tk 2,000 will be the basic pay while Tk 800 or 40 percent of the basic fixed as house rent and Tk 200 as health allowance.
The non-grade workers have been included in the grading system keeping the seven wage grades unchanged, the minister said.
The grades are:
Grade 1 Basic Tk 6500 (total Tk 9300)
Grade 2 Basic Tk 4200 (total Tk 7200)
Grade 3 Basic Tk 2800 (total Tk 4120)
Grade 4 Basic Tk 2700 (total Tk 3763)
Grade 5 Basic Tk 2500 (total Tk 3455)
Grade 6 Basic Tk 2200 (total Tk 3210)
Grade 7 Basic Tk 2000 (total Tk 3000)
State Minister for Labour and Employment Begum Munnujan Sufian, president of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) AK Azad, president of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) Salam Murshedy, President of Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) Selim Osman and Labour leader Shirin Akhtar were also present.
The minister in his written statement said the pay structure would be published as gazette after giving 14 days for taking comments of the different sides concerned with the matter.
FBCCI president AK Azad said the wage structure was fixed after a long-drawn discussion and the owners of factories would be advised to go for another business if they failed to follow the structure.
Earlier on Tuesday, the minimum wage board formed in January submitted its recommendations to the minister. The board recommended Tk 3,000 per month for a worker at the entry level.
The wage structure was determined Tuesday at the final meeting of the wage board formed by the government for the workers of the export industry.
The labour side of the tripartite wage-board body, however, did not agree to the wage structure, as labour organisations have long demanded Tk 5000 as minimum wage.
A joint meeting of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) and Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) Wednesday agreed to the wage scale.
The owners, however, set around a dozen conditions for implementing the wage-board award.
The conditions include: quick implementation of the second stimulus package, ensuring security of the industries, ensuring power and gas supply and waiver of minimum charge, reduction of tax at source to 0 from 0.25 percent, waiving 15 percent VAT on house rent, bringing down bank interest to a single-digit rate, maintaining provisions of labour law without any new condition and Tk 15 subsidy on per-litre diesel and furnace oil.
BDST: 2106HRS, JULY 27, 2010