Bangladesh Workers Solidarity Network

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Wages

From the very beginning, labor cost in Bangladesh was the lowest compared to other garment producing countries. During the 1990s, unit labor cost in Bangladesh was $0.11 ($/shirt), whereas the same was 0.26 in India, 0.43 in Pakistan and 0.79 in Sri Lanka

“a garment worker in Bangladesh received only 6 cents as wage per hour, compared to 20 cents in India and Pakistan, 30 cents in China, 40 cents in Sri Lanka and 78 cents in Thailand” (Asian Tribune, 28 May 2005).

A new minimum wage declared in July 2010 was a malnutrition wage,  the lowest wage for garment workers in the world. The minimum wage increase between 1993 and 2010 between 1993 and 2010 increased by 2.9%, while prices of essentials rose by over 50% (Anu Mohammad, EPW, August 20 2011)
 

While it is true that the great number of unemployed and the lack of better opportunities force people, women in particular, to accept low wages, they are still well below that of the competing labor sources such as Cambodia.  The current $38-per-month minimum wage, half of Cambodia's, is barely enough to scrape by on.

 

Suggested readings:

Bangaldesh to raise pay (Wall Street Journal,  May 12, 2013)

Will higher wages destroy the Bangladesh Garments Industry - a Bangladeshi entrepreneur writes (New Age, May 13, 2015