Bangladeshi garment workers protest for higher minimum wage (2)

16:37, July 30, 2010      

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The Bangladeshi government on Thursday announced 3,000 taka (42. 86 U.S. dollars) as the minimum monthly wage for the country's around 3 million garment workers, an over 80 percent hike from the existing pay in a month.

Several incidents of labor unrest in the second half of the last year prompted the government to form the third minimum wage board. The board was given the responsibility to fix the minimum wage for nearly 3 million garment workers who are immensely contributing to the country's export earning.

Despite such remarkable contributions in the country's economy, the garment workers' organizations have been saying since long that their members are leading a miserable life getting very poor monthly wages.

Against this backdrop, the workers' organizations had also been demanding a big hike in monthly wages.

A Labor Ministry official on condition of anonymity said that the readymade garment factory owners were not interested in paying more than 2,400 taka (34.29 U.S. dollars) a month as a minimum wage, against the workers' demands for 5,000 taka a month.

The first minimum wage board in Bangladesh, constituted in 1994, fixed 940 taka (13.43 U.S. dollars) as minimum wage for garment workers. The second one, formed in 2006, set the minimum wage at 1, 662.50 taka (23.75 U.S. dollars).

Source: Xinhua

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