Govt warns RMG owners, workers to tackle unrest as election looms

  • Senior Correspondent,
    Published: 2018-12-06 18:36:09 BdST


Md Mujibul Haque Chunnu, state minister for labour, said that a group of people are trying to create unrest over the minimum wage of readymade garments workers ahead of the 11th parliamentary election.

Such attempts will be suppressed by the government very strongly, he said.

The minister made the warnings after an emergency meeting with the Crisis Management Core Committee at the Secretariat in Dhaka on Thursday.

“We recently observed that, a group of people who do not want the election to be held are trying to create unrest in our largest sector of readymade garments. They are holding various campaigns over the demand of a new wage scale,” Mujibul said.  

The government had published a gazette fixing the minimum monthly wage of readymade garment factory workers at Tk 8,000 on Nov 25.

Whereas the new rate for around 4 million workers brought a 51 percent increase, an effort is being incited to create several wrong interpretations among the workers of the RGM sector, he said.    

An estimate of the effects of increasing wages is to be sent to the industry owners and workers’ leaders of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association and Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association.

The workers will get the wages according to the new rate from December, Mujibul said.

Several left-wing labour organisations have demanded minimum wage of Tk 16,000 a month for the RMG workers in consideration of inflation and wages for other workers.

They organised several rallies and human chain programmes on a regular basis as the demands have yet to be heeded.

The minister urged industry owners and workers to avoid any decisions that could harm for election. He also warned that the government will adapt a zero-tolerance policy to avert such situations.

Representatives from several labour organisations were also present in the programme. They stated their solidarity with the political leaders to avert an untoward situation ahead of the Dec 30 election. They also urged industry owners to pay the wages to workers in a timely manner.