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US government urges Bangladesh to reconsider minimum wage increase

By Don-Alvin Adegeest


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Garment workers protest wages in Bangladesh Credits: Sommilito Garments Sramik Federation (SGSF)

The United States has urged Bangladesh to reconsider its recent decision on the minimum wage and ensure the protection of workers' rights following the death of a woman during garment labour protests. A government-appointed panel increased factory wages by 56.25 percent to 12,500 taka ( approximately 113 dollars) per month, but striking workers are demanding nearly triple, at 23,000 taka, Barron's reported.

In a statement, US State Department spokesman Matthew Miller commended private sector members supporting union proposals for a reasonable wage increase. He urged the tripartite process, established after the 2013 Rana Plaza collapse, to revisit the minimum wage decision, addressing the economic pressures faced by workers.

Tragically, during protests in Gazipur, 23-year-old sewing machine operator Anjuara Khatun was shot and killed by police, Barron’s said. The United States expressed concern about the ongoing repression of workers and trade unionists, calling on the Bangladesh government to protect workers' right to peaceful protest and investigate allegations of false criminal charges against workers and labour leaders.

garment workers