Foreign garment brands and retailers have expressed concern over the ongoing unrest in the garment industry over the minimum wage hike.
“These brands are not placing orders for the time being,” President of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) Faruque Hassan said at a press conference.
“They will not be placing new orders if the situation continues. We are explaining to buyers that only 5 percent of factories are affected by the unrest and we are trying to find a solution,” he added.
Faruque Hassan stated the new wage settlement will be implemented before the general elections in Bangladesh, so elections will not hamper the process.
Hassan informed that around 130 garment factories had shut down as of Sunday but could not provide a figure for the financial loss to the industry due to the unrest.
The labor and employment ministry yesterday published a gazette fixing the minimum wage for the sector at Taka 12,500.
As per the gazette, after one year of working, workers will get a salary increment on a yearly basis at the rate of 5 percent of basic wages.
Earlier on November 7, the Minimum Wage Board had fixed the minimum wage at Taka 12,500 after discussions with representatives of workers and factory owners.
During the press conference, BGMEA requested the government to provide security to run the garment factories identify those who are creating the unrest, and take measures.
Hassan noted that despite arriving at an amicable settlement, protests are still continuing and factories continue to be vandalized by some unidentified people.