According to Bangladeshi news publication The Daily Star, the workers’ representative on the wage board Sirajul Islam Rony proposed Tk 20,393 ($184.6) as the minimum monthly salary for garment workers.
However, the garment factory owners’ representative in the board, Md Siddiqur Rahman, proposed almost half (Tk 10,400) the proposed amount as the minimum monthly salary.
The Daily Star notes that the chairman of the minimum wage board, Liaquat Ali Mollah, said they will consider both proposals and reach a consensus after wider discussion on the minimum wage.
An additional meeting will be held on 1 November to finalise the minimum monthly wage, which will come into effect from December this year.
This follows a nudge from fashion brands, including sports giant adidas and fashion brand Levi Strauss & Co who sent a joint letter to Bangladesh prime minister Sheikh Hasina asking for the minimum wage review mechanism to incorporate all stakeholders’ views and reflect the country’s economic realities.
The 15 co-signees, 10 of which are Fair Labor Association (FLA) members, state they recognise the value that Bangladesh holds as the third largest supplier of garments as well as a fast-growing supplier of footwear and travel goods to the world.
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In fact, the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) asked representatives from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for help on 15 October in a bid to support the development of the country’s ready-made garment sector.
The two groups discussed the current challenges for Bangladesh’s apparel sector, including the country’s graduation from the United Nation’s least developed countries (LDC) list.
Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) had not responded to Just Style’s request for comment at the time of going to press.