Sunday's Tripartite Meeting 'A Farce'
Tuesday, 03 August 2010

A section of labour leaders has said at a press conference that Sunday evening's tripartite meeting that apparently settled RMG minimum wage issue was a conspiracy.

Representatives of 13 labour organisations suggested on Monday that those who agreed to the government stipulated pay scale of the garment workers were not the genuine workers' representatives.

They also threatened tougher movements if the detained leaders and workers were not freed and cases against them withdrawn.

The labour leaders said at a joint press conference that there were no discussions with garment workers' labour leaders.

The termed the tripartite meeting 'a betrayal' of workers and indicated that it was a farce in the name of negotiations.

They alleged that the government called the meeting in a hurry, where only a few trade union leaders were present.

After the meeting on Sunday, labour minister Khandker Mosharraf Hossain declared that the labour leaders, representing the workers, had accepted the new pay scale stipulating Tk 3,000 as minimum wage, instead of Tk 5,000 as demanded by the workers.

It is currently Tk 1662.50 per month (US$ 23.91, 1 dollar = Tk 69.525).

But the workers since the declaration on Thursday have been staging demonstrations in the capital and adjoining areas rejecting new wage structure.

There were demonstrations on Monday morning even though their supposed leaders had settled on the compromise.

Workers' leaders from the conference also urged for further discussions to revise the wage structure and sought permission of trade unions in RMG factories.

Communist Party of Bangladesh president Manzurul Ahsan Khan and other labour leaders were present at the conference, which was also attended by Garment Sramik Trade Union Kendra, Garment Sramik Oikyo Forum, Bangladesh Textile Garments Workers' Federation representatives.


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