ACT Member Brands and IndustriALL reiterate support for a higher minimum wage for garment workers in Bangladesh
ACT member brands and IndustriALL Global Union continue to follow the developments at the National Minimum Wage Board in Bangladesh closely and recognise with urgency the need for the ready-made garment (RMG) Minimum Wage Board to agree through a constructive and inclusive process to a higher minimum wage for the sector. ACT commends the efforts of the special tripartite committee to revisit the minimum wages and reach a negotiated consensus within the national minimum wage board.
ACT aims to support higher wage setting mechanisms both through national minimum wage processes and through collective bargaining at industry-level. We believe that industrial relations can complement statutory wage setting mechanisms in ensuring tailor-made solutions to industry speciﬁc challenges. This is also crucial in ensuring that wage gains and increases are adjusted frequently and not steadily eroded through inﬂation and cost of living increases.
The ACT members wrote to the minimum wage board on September 12th 2023 expressing support for a new minimum wage in Bangladesh that will cover the minimum income necessary for a worker to meet the basic needs of their family including some discretionary income. This should be earned during legal normal working hour limits.
As the national process continues and the minimum wage board considers the level at which the minimum wage should be set, ACT members would like to reiterate the support for a higher minimum wage for RMG workers and highlight the importance of taking into consideration the due diligence and calculations put forward by the negotiating parties, some of which represent IndustriALL affiliates in Bangladesh .
As ACT members we believe that a long-term sustainable RMG industry requires progress towards living wages. ACT member brands recognise their role in supporting wage developments and have committed to supporting a living wage in the RMG sector in Bangladesh through the promotion of the conditions to achieve an industry-wide collective bargaining agreement supported by Brands’ purchasing practices. ACT brands recognise the crucial contribution brands need to make through their purchasing practices and engagement with manufacturers and suppliers in Bangladesh in support of higher wages. We have therefore made commitments to facilitate the payment of living wages through our purchasing practices.
In consequence, we urge the RMG Minimum Wage Board reach a consensus through a fair and transparent process where all parties including the trade unions are heard and we advocate for an expedited process to reach a consensus on the minimum wage.
 Please refer to the IndustriALL affiliates letter submitted to the RMG Minimum wage board on 8th of August, https://www.industriall-union.org/bangladeshi-unions-demand-increased-minimum-wage-for-garment-workers