Hasina promises higher pay to garment sector workers

Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina has promised an early pay revision for the country`s ailing garment sector.

Updated: Jul 07, 2010, 11:46 AM IST

Dhaka: Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has promised an early pay revision for the country`s ailing garment sector, saying the current pay scales were "too little to meet the basic needs of life".

She asked the workers to be patient and not resort to violence. By burning and vandalising factories, she said, the workers were harming themselves.

At a function here Tuesday, she blamed the recurring violence on "vested interests" that were bent on keeping down the highest foreign exchange earning sector.

She has asked her ministers and officials to expedite the wage revision process, New Age newspaper said Wednesday.

The government is facilitating negotiations and officials say they expect an accord by this month-end.

The workers have been demanding a minimum wage of Taka 5,000 ($86), but the employers want to pay Taka 1,600 ($26) per month.

Readymade garments and knitwear sector earned $12 billion last year.

However, low wages, poor working conditions and non-compliance of past agreements by employers have resulted in recurring industrial violence.

The European Union, whose member-nations are among major importers, Monday expressed concern about possible delays in delivery of goods.

IANS