RMG Workers' Pay Meagre: PM
Thursday, 22 July 2010

Prime minister Sheikh Hasina has said the wages the owners of the ready-made garment unit pay their workers were "insufficient" and "inhuman".

She made the comment while answering to the questions from the MPs in the parliament on Wednesday.

Hasina said the owners should pay a portion of the profits to the poor workers so that they could maintain their families. "The wage the workers are paid, I will say, is not only insufficient, but also inhuman." The workers cannot even stay in Dhaka with the peanuts they get in wages.

She said the owners could take loan from the government at one percent interest to construct residences for the workers.

"The owners should feel that they make profit through exports as the toiling workers strive for the ready-made garments industry," said Hasina.

"So, they (the owners) should give a portion of the profit to the workers for their survival."

She said the labour minister had been holding discussions with the owners to revise the minimum wage for apparel workers.
The prime minister said the owners were not interested in providing the minimum wage demanded by the workers. "The negotiations are on, and I think we will be able to announce a fresh wage structure for the workers," said Hasina.

Labour minister Khondker Mosharraf Hossain earlier announced that the government, by July 28, would announce a fresh minimum pay for the workers of the industry, which accounts for 80 percent of the country's US $ 18 billion export.

The workers get at Tk 1662.50 as minimum wage and have been demanding Tk 5,000 as minimum wage.
On July 6, the prime minister urged garment workers not to lose patience over their latest demand for a minimum wage.


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