Dhaka, Sept 14 (UNB) – Turning down the minimum wage of Tk 8,000 as fixed by the government, garment workers on Friday demanded raising it to Tk 16,000.
They made the demand from different programmes held under the banners of different workers’ organisations.
Several hundred garment workers under the banner of ‘Garments Workers’ Trade Union Centre’, a platform of RMG workers, staged a sit-in in front of the Jatiya Press Club around 11:30 am to press home their demand.
Speaking on the occasion, Joly Talukder, general secretary of the union, said, “The fixation of minimum wage for RMG workers at Tk 8,000 is illogical and unjust.”
She urged the government to reconsider the decision, or else, she threatened that they will go for a tougher movement, and announced to stage demonstrations in industrial areas of the city.
Abul Hasan, officer-in-charge of Shahbagh Police Station, said the RMG workers also brought out a precession protesting the government decision.
Vehicular movement at Topkhana road and in its adjacent areas remained suspended for nearly an hour following their demonstrations.
Later, police appeared at the spot and dispersed the workers.
Meanwhile, Bangladesh Garment, Textile and Leather Workers Federation (BGTLWF) made the same demand in its biennial council 2018 held at the Jatiya Press Club.
Speaking on the occasion, BGTLWF President Kutubuddin Ahmed said when the country is graduating towards a middle-income one, workers’ salary should be minimum Tk 16,000 considering the growing price of daily needs.
Addressing the programme as the chief guest, Executive Director of Bangladesh Institute of Labour Studies (BILS) Zafrul Hasan criticised the amendment to the labour law, saying the amendment is not favourable for the workers.
Due to the amendment of the law, working hours have increased, he claimed.
At the programme, Giasudin Ahmed, Chairman of Industriall Bangladesh Council (IBC), and its General Secretary Salauddin Swapon also urged the government to reconsider the decision in the programme.
On Thursday, the government fixed the minimum wage for the RMG workers at Tk 8000.
The decision will come into effect in December next after the publication of a gazette notification.
RMG workers have long been staging demanding fixation of their minimum wage in the country’s garment workers at Tk 16000.