The International Labour Organisation (ILO) has stressed on the necessity to adopt a minimum wage determination process for Bangladesh’s garment sector based on transparency and fairness to ensure a decent living wage.
In a statement, ILO expressed concerns on demonstrations and instances of violence over wage levels and called for calm and restraint to avoid any further loss of life and damage to livelihoods.
“The wages should not only assure workers of a decent standard of living but also consider the sustainability of businesses within the garment sector,” it said.
“We acknowledge the work of the minimum wage board and encourage the parties to continue to discuss in good faith,” ILO added.
ILO further added that moving forward, it is imperative for Bangladesh to establish a national wage policy and an evidence-based system for wage determination by taking into account the concerns of workers and employers alike.
The Minimum Wage Board had raised the minimum wage from Taka 8,000 to Taka 12,500, which a section of union leaders and workers have refused to accept.
The minimum wage board said it would remain open to objections and suggestions for 14 days starting from the issuance of the gazette regarding fixing the minimum wage on November 11.
If no further changes come about, the new wage structure will come into effect from December 1 and the workers will receive their salary as per the new structure in January next year.
However, normalcy has been gradually restored through the reopening of almost all garment factories over the last three days.