April 15, 2024, 4:20 pm


Staff Correspondent

Published:
2024-03-30 03:56:42 BdST

Minimum wage of Tk25,000 demanded for tannery workers


A tannery industry worker will be deprived of his basic needs for survival if not given a minimum wage of Tk25,000, reveals a study conducted by the Tannery Workers’ Union.

Tannery Workers’ Union found the findings by interviewing workers, analysing prices of daily necessities, house rent, cost of medical care, education and other essentials.

The leaders of the tannery industry presented the findings at a discussion jointly organised by Tannery Workers Union (TWU) and Bangladesh Labor Rights Journalist Forum (BLRJF) with the support of Solidarity Center at the capital’s Topkhana on Friday.

Veteran journalist and freedom fighter Azizul Haque Bhuiyan was the chief guest at the event. TWU President Abul Kalam Azad chaired the discussion while BLRJF General Secretary Ataur Rahman moderated the event.

According to the document provided at the event, the Tannery Workers’ Union conducted the study by applying the Anchor Methodology, a globally accepted methodology for determining minimum wages.

A total of 52 workers, of which 20 were female and 32 males, were interviewed in Hazaribagh and Hemayetpur areas. Considering the average minimum food intake, cost of accommodation, medical, education, recreation, entertainment, clothing, mobile, internet and other incidentals, the monthly expense of a family of four is at least Tk25,000, the study says.

The survey was conducted between February 1 to March 15 this year.

TWU General Secretary Abdul Malek, also the workers’ representative in the Minimum Wage Board of the industry, presented the study findings.

Addressing the chief guest, Azizul Haque Bhuiyan said, “It is very troubling that while some people are smuggling thousands of takas out of this country, the workers of our country are fighting for a living wage. Tk25,000 minimum wage is a meager amount and this demand must be realised.”

Solidarity Center-Bangladesh office Country Program Director AKM Nasim said, “As per law, the union can bargain for higher wages with the owners irrespective of the declared minimum wage. But we never actually see it. The minimum wage for the workers will be determined through successful bargaining of the union with the wage board. But this is not the end. The wages determined are rarely implemented in tanneries. We should be aware of that too.”

TWU President Abul Kalam Azad called upon authorities concerned to declare and implement the minimum wage for workers in due time.

Solidarity Center-Bangladesh office Deputy Country Program Director Monika Hartsel said, “It is essential that the minimum wage board’s recommended wage reflects the reality of the cost of living for tannery workers and their families to live a life of dignity. Why is that the people whose labor makes it possible to produce luxury leather boots are not able to afford simple shoes for their school-going child?”

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