DHAKA – Higher wages for garment sector workers could lead to increases in unemployment – that’s the claim of Bangladesh’s most powerful trade body, the Bangladesh Garment and Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA). The claim, which is consistent with neo-liberal economic theory, was made in response to a Worker Rights Consortium report which suggested the current minimum wage in Bangladesh was too low and that workers protesting at its lack of enforcement had been on the end of “police brutality.”
The BGMEA also argues – correctly we believe – that the WRC report fails to place enough emphasis on prices paid by brands to ready-made garment factories. A spokesperson told Apparel Insider: “…the economic status and level of income of people in a certain country are major factors behind its minimum wages.”
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