WASHINGTON, DC, August 30, 2023 — Last week, the Fair Labor Association (FLA) joined amfori, Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI), Fair Wear, and Mondiaal FNV in supporting an increase in the minimum wage for the ready-made garment (RMG) sector in Bangladesh that is in line with a decent wage for workers and their families. The five organizations actively support creating an environment that is conducive to human rights, responsible business practices, and sustainable trade relations among the 600+ member companies sourcing from more than 2,900 Bangladeshi producers within the organizations’ respective networks.
In a joint letter to Chairman of the Minimum Wage Board Liaquet Ali Molla, the organizations championed local union demands for increases in the minimum wage, which is currently well below the rising cost of living in Bangladesh. The letter also stressed the importance of trade union consultation in setting this minimum wage, as well as overall respect for freedom of association and collective bargaining. Finally, it recognized the importance of responsible purchasing practices by members’ brands to ensure there is appropriate cost-burden sharing with suppliers.
Wage data from FLA member companies, as reported in FLA’s Fair Compensation Dashboard, indicate that average monthly net wages for garment workers in Bangladesh increased less than one percent from 2019 to 2022. According to the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics, inflation in Bangladesh rose to 9.02 percent in 2022-23 – the highest average inflation rate in 12 years.
The Fair Labor Association (FLA) promotes human rights at work. We are an international network of companies, universities, and civil society organizations collaborating to ensure that millions of people working at the world’s factories and farms are paid fairly and protected from risks to their health, safety, and well-being.