Protests over Bangladesh’s minimum wage for garment workers
Hundreds of garment workers and union leaders took to the streets of Dhaka on Friday after rejecting government plans to raise their minimum wage to Tk 8,000 (US$96) per month. Union leaders and workers described the new wage as a “joke” and a “slap on the face." Mujibul Haque Chunnu, Bangladesh’s State Minister for Labor and Employment, on Thursday declared the new minimum wage, a 51% increase from the previous Tk 5,300 ($64)...MM Akash, a Professor of Economics of Dhaka University and one of the consultants on the wage board, said Tk 8,000 ($96) was nowhere near the amount he suggested.He said, in reality, a six-member family of a worker needs about Tk 28,620 ($341) per month to lead a decent life with basic facilities. “Considering the economic condition of the whole country and the capacity of the owners, I had recommended Tk 16,000, which is the minimum,” he said...Factory owners say the revised salary of Tk 8,000 ($96) was, in fact, too much for them to bear. Siddiqur Rahman, President of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) – the apex body of apparel manufacturers and traders – said in the last few years a number of garment manufacturers had to shut their factories as they could not cover their costs.