More than 200 garment factories in Bangladesh have re-opened after owners finally agreed to a 77% hike in the minimum wage.

The BDT5,300 (US$68.17) minimum wage for entry-level workers was initially proposed by the government-appointed wage board last week - but was rejected by factory owners who were seeking a rise to BDT4,250 ($54.66).

The change of heart followed a meeting last night (13 November) between garment owner representatives and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

The factory owners accepted the wage board recommendation after weeks of unrest culminated in the closure of hundreds of ready-made garment units in Bangladesh's industrial belts this week.

Factory owners had also threatened to shut down all facilities if the wage board did not lower their recommendation.

Workers, meanwhile, have called for a hike to BDT8,114 ($104.36).

The monthly minimum wage for Bangladesh garment workers is currently BDT3,000 (US$38.58), and was last revised in 2010.

Bangladesh is the second-largest garment manufacturing country after China and exports mainly to the United States and Europe. The sector employs more than 4.0 million workers, mostly women.