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Bangladesh: No minimum wages for 34 industrial sectors

“Bangladesh is known in the global market for its cheap labor. Thirty-four industrial sectors do not have a minimum wage, and the minimum wage for 12 other sectors has not been revised in 14‐28 years. The Minimum Wage Board is currently working to set wages that satisfies both workers and employers.

“These industries include poultry, power and handloom, garment accessories manufacturing, ceramic, jewelry, cement, electronics, publications, paper, cable, beverage, brick, cigarettes, audio-visual products, newspaper, printing and dairy farm. The ready-made garment industry did US$12 billion in export earnings last year.

“The garment workers’ minimum wages were raised earlier this summer after violent riots. Even though the minimum wage was nearly doubled, workers were disappointed as they had asked for a tripling of the wage.“

Implications from IFTF:

The industrial world has been built on cheap labor, from slave labor to illegal immigrants to low or no minimum wages. The future of a cheap labor, or lack there of, has real implications for everybody. As labor unions become globally organized and consumers become more conscientious of these issues, big changes may be approaching.

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