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The Minimum Wage for Garment Workers in EPZ is 12,800 Taka

The minimum monthly wage for several sectors, including the apparel industry, in the country’s export processing zones (EPZs) has been recommended at BDT 12,800. Workers in the position of Helper in the fifth grade of the Wage Board will receive wages at this rate. The annual increment for 50 percent of the workers with the lowest wages will be 10 percent of the basic salary. The remaining workers will receive increments at a rate of 5 to 10 percent. The new wage structure will take effect in December.

A recommendation has been made in the EPZ’s Minimum Wage Board Gazette. The publication of the Gazette related to the recommendation was made last Thursday. Objections and opinions are sought from the Wage Board within 14 days of the publication of the Gazette. In the determination of wages in the EPZ, a detailed analysis is made with several similar products. This analysis includes four categories from ‘A’ to ‘G’. The garment industry is included in the ‘A’ category. The other categories in this analysis are garment accessories, shoes, leather and leather goods, service providers, wood and wood accessories, plastic products, sports and caps, and hats.

Apart from the monthly fixed wage method, workers also work on a piece rate or production-based system in the EPZ. In this case, the Gazette states that for workers based on the piece rate, the rate must be determined in such a way that their minimum monthly wage does not fall below BDT 13,250 for normal working hours. In the EPZ, there is also a grade for temporary workers in the education sector. At the end of the six-month educational period, these workers will be permanently employed in the relevant grade.

In addition, for three regular grades in electronic and electrical products, software, lens and glass products, metal and metal casting, automobile and auto parts, bicycles, heavy industries, printing, ships, golf shafts, fishing equipment, and related other establishments, a minimum wage of BDT 14,250 has been recommended for Junior Operators.

Major General Abul Kalam Mohammad Ziaur Rahman, the Chairman of the Bangladesh Export Processing Zones Authority (BEPZA), concurrently holds the responsibility of the Chairman of the EPZ Minimum Wage Board under the Prime Minister’s Office. Out of the 18 members of the Minimum Wage Board, five are representatives of factory owners and workers. One representative each is from the Prime Minister’s Office, the Ministry of Finance, and the Ministry of Labor and Employment.

The EPZ’s operations are governed by the EPZ Labor Law under the Ministry of Labor and Employment. Outside the EPZ, the minimum wage for garment factories has also been set at BDT 12,500. In addition, there will be an annual increment at a rate of 5 percent of the basic wage. The finalization of the new structure was completed on November 25. The new structure will be effective from the next month.

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