Bangladesh Institute of Labour Studies-BILS, with the support of Mondiaal FNV organised a roundtable titled “RMG Workers’ Wage Revision: Reality and Way Forward” on October 2, 2018 in Azimur Rahman Conference Hall, at The Daily Star Centre in the Capital. The roundtable was organised aiming to analyze the reality in the context of declared minimum wage of RMG workers and determining the future activities in this regard.
BILS Vice Chairman Md. Mojibur Rahman Bhuiyan chaired the roundtable, while BILS Joint Secretary General Md. Zafrul Hasan was present as Moderator. Assistant Professor of Department of Social Welfare at Jagannath University Mostafiz Ahmed presented the keynote paper in the roundtable. Among others, Samajtantrik Sramik Front General Secretary Razekuzzaman Ratan, Centre for Policy Dialogue-CPD Research Director Dr. Khondaker Golam Moazzem, Bangladesh Supreme Court Lawyer Zafrul Hasan Sharif, Jatiya Garments Sramik Federation President Amirul Haque Amin, Bangladesh Jatiyatabadi Sramik Dal President Anwar Hossain, IndustriALL Bangladesh Council Secretary General Salauddin Shapon, Bangladesh Trade Union Sangha General Secretary Choudhury Ashiqul Alam, Jatiya Sramik Federation President Quamrul Ahsan, Bangladesh Textile and Garments Workers League President Z M Kamrul Anam participated in the discussion.
Discussants in the roundtable said that, in the present context this minimum wage at RMG sector is not appropriate. Basic wage was decreased to 51% in comparison with 67.69% in 2006. They opined that, this wage is comparatively low considering the national and International context. Comparing with ship breaking, tannery along with other sectors, minimum wage was not increased at RMG sector. It is necessary to take minimum wage at RMG sector in a standard level for achieving sustainable development goal, vision 21, 7th five-year plan and developing Bangladesh as a country of mid-level income, they added. It is necessary to focus the workers’ position to government before the final declaration of minimum wage, they disclosed.
SKOP affiliated and BILS associated national Trade Union Federations leaders, IndustriALL Bangladesh Council leaders, Workers representatives from present and former wage board, researchers, journalists and leaders of various professional organisations were present in the roundtable.
- As increasing of other benefits depend on to basic wage, so it is necessary to increase the basic wage at a standard level. In this case, basic wage should be increased by 70%
- Including national minimum wage in the Labour Law
- Setting wage considering national and international perspective
- Ensuring balanced growth of wage in all Grade
- Determining wage according to per capita income
- In case of determining the wage it should be considered not only the workers but also the entire family of the workers
- Removing the discrimination of wage between government and non-government workers
- Setting the position and structure of wage board