Sunday, April 21, 2019

Govt to sit with labour leaders to defuse wage protest

  • Staff Correspondent
    Published: 2019-01-08 13:44:05 BdST


The Ministry of Labour and Employment has called an emergency meeting for a 4pm start on Tuesday, in the wake of garment workers’ unrest over the implementation of minimum wage.

Hundreds of garment workers have taken to the streets for a third successive day to demand a minimum wage hike and to press a series of other demands.

Representatives of garment factory owners and workers will address the workers’ ongoing issues at the meeting which will be presided over by State Minister for Labour and Employment Monnujan Sufian. Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi will also attend the meeting.

“It appears that a misunderstanding has emerged over the new minimum wage structure announced by the government for garment workers,” the labour and employment ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.

The government called for patience and cooperation from workers and other stakeholders.

Workers have been blocking the streets in Dhaka daily since Sunday to demand the implementation of the government’s new minimum wage structure.

Workers allege that factory owners are not paying their wages in accordance with the new structure. They also said they face numerous other injustices at the hands of owners.

On Nov 25, the government published a notice boosting the minimum monthly wage by 51 percent to Tk 8,000 for about four million garment workers.

Former state minister for labour Md Mujibul Haque Chunnu had earlier alleged that the new wage structure was wrongly interpreted to fuel labour unrest before the Dec 30 election.

Left-leaning labour organisations had previously demanded a minimum wage of Tk 16,000 a month for the garment workers taking into account inflation and wages for other workers.