Bangladesh labour leaders recently complained that readymade garment (RMG) factory owners have started laying off workers after announcing setting the wage floor at Tk 8,000 following a new wage structure implemented by the government. The new wage would be effective from December. The new wage structure for the RMG workers, however, is yet to be finalised.

Just after the primary announcement of the wage for the lowest-grade workers, the factory owners started forcing operators to complete additional work and terminating helpers from their jobs, the labour leaders said at a roundtable titled ‘Announced Minimum Wage for RMG Workers: Reality and Way Forward.’ Bangladesh Institute of Labour Studies organised the roundtable in Dhaka, according to report.

The leaders expressed their concern over the gradual decrease in basic wage of RMG workers, saying the monthly basic wage of garment workers is the lowest among those of workers in 42 industrial sectors and demanded early publication of a notification in the government gazette confirming the new wage structure. There were also allegations that two workers’ representatives in the minimum wage board appointed by the government never raise their voice to protect workers’ interests.