Bangladesh will have a wage board for readymade garment workers by 2018.
The minimum monthly wage for garment workers in Bangladesh is 68 dollars, compared with about 280 dollars in mainland China.
Apparel workers in Bangladesh receive the lowest wage compared to all other countries in Asia.
The majority of garment workers in Bangladesh earn little more than the minimum wage, far below what is considered a living wage, which would be the minimum required to provide a family with shelter, food and education.
In Bangladesh, 3.5 million workers in 4,825 garment factories produce goods for export to the global market, principally Europe and North America. The Bangladeshi garment industry generates 80 per cent of the country’s total export revenue. However the wealth generated by this sector has led to few improvements in the lives of garment workers, 85 per cent of whom are women.
Garment exporters worry about profit margins being squeezed due to increased compliance costs in the wake of the 2013 Rana Plaza factory collapse and a push from buyers to further reduce costs. It’s estimated most of Bangladesh's garment exporters are operating with a profit margin of just three per cent.
Employees’ associations have asked for ten per cent increment in salary every year, six months’ maternity leave and three months of apprenticeship period with basic salary.