Bangladesh hikes garment workers' wages to end week-long unrest

Garment workers gather to protest for higher wages in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Photograph:( Reuters )

WION Kolkata, West Bengal, India Jan 13, 2019, 09.03 PM (IST) Pooja Mehta

The Bangladesh government announced its decision to revise wages for readymade garment workers on Sunday to end the week-long unrest in the country. 

State Labour and Employment Minister Munnujan Sufian announced the government’s decision to hike wages1,2,3,4,5, 6 and 7 grades. 

Sources in the Awami League-led government said, “This decision by the minister was announced after the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina intervened to end the unrest and asked the ministers to immediately hike the wages.”

Earlier in the day, the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exports Association had threatened to shut down all factories if workers did not return to work immediately on Monday. 

The country witnessed a week-long violent agitation by the readymade garment workers ever since they began their movement, demanding a wage hike, against the government from January 6. 

While one worker died in clashes with police, over 100 workers were injured in Mirpur, Savar and Ashulia. 

On Sunday too, violent clashes broke out on Dhaka’s outskirts in Ashulia between the readymade garment workers and police, leaving as many as 20 workers injured. 

Agitators blockaded the Dhaka-Tangail highway for several hours. They pelted stones at the police who in turn fired tear gas and used water canons to disperse the agitators. 

The revised wages are as follows: 

Grade 1: 

2013: 13,000 Bangladeshi takas 

2018: 17,510 

Revised wage: 18,257 

Grade 2: 

2013: 10,900

2018: 14,630 

Revised wage: 15,416

Grade 3: 

2013: 6,405

2018: 9,590

Revised wage: 9,845

Grade 4: 

2013: 6,420

2018: 9, 245 

Revised wage: 9,347 

Grade 5: 

2013: 6,420

2018: 8,855

Revised wage: 8,875

Grade 6: 

2013: 5,678

2018: 8,405

Revised wage: 8,420

Grade 7: 

2013: 5,300

2018: 8,000

Revised wage: 8,000

(1 Indian rupee = 1.19 Bangladesh takas)