A call for increased minimum wage in Bangladesh

"An increase in minimum wage will have a progressive impact on the standard of living, and it will also go a long way to promote decent work and the country’s economy" says Apoorva Kaiwar, regional secretary in IndustriALL on the union's demand for an increased minimum wage in Bangladesh' garment sector. 

The current minimum wage of 68 USD per month was adopted in 2013, and thus the unions demands have been longstanding. Now, a series of actions, including a human chain march on February 28, are taken place under the banner of IndustriALL in a call to increase the minimum wage to 192 USD per month.

Besides increased minimum wages, IndustriALL Bangladesh Council (IBC) also advocates for better welfare measures for workers in the garment sector as well as predetermined annual salary increases. Read more on IndustriALL's website.

Myanmar adopts new minimum wage

The call for increased minimum wage in Bangladesh' garment sector happens simultaneously with the adoption of a new minimum wage in neighbouring Myanmar.

The new minimum wage is an increase from a daily wage of 3600 Kyat (app. 2,7 USD) to a daily wage of 4800 Kyat (app. 3,6 USD) for an eight-hour working day. The increase was adopted in March by the National Committee for the Minimum Wage despite objections from labour and employers. Employers belive the new minimum wage will force small- and medium sized companies to close, while the workers argue this is not enough to sustain a family, also due to rising prices on commodities. The workers advocate the daily minimum wage to be at least 5600 Kyat (app. 5,2 USD).

On the adoption of the new minimum wage, Myanmar's Minister of Labour, Immigation and Pupulation, U Thein Swe says:

“We decided on K4800 as the new minimum wage, which has been agreed to by most committee members." 

Read more in Myanmar Times