Clean Clothes Campaign supports Bangladeshi unions in their 23,000Tk minimum wage hike demand

For the first time in five years, the Bangladeshi government has formed a Wage Board to revise the minimum wage for the country’s RMG sector which employs roughly 4 million workers. The current minimum wage of 8,000 taka (roughly 74 USD) was already insufficient for a decent living when it came into force in 2019. Since then, workers had to endure the additional pressure of the Covid-19 pandemic and the subsequent high inflation without seeing their wages increase at all.

The new minimum wage demand of 23,000 taka (212 USD) has been calculated based on the extensive cost of living study done by the Bangladesh Institute for Labour Studies and has been unanimously supported by trade unions in the country as well as the IndustriALL global union. CCC partners in Bangladesh do not hold seats in the Wage Board, and neither do any other independent trade unions, but they will organise local campaign actions to voice this demand. 

This year’s minimum wage revision takes place at a difficult time for the Bangladeshi labour rights movement. The recent murder of trade unionist Shahidul Islam is a stark reminder of the incredibly repressive environment in which wage negotiations take place. In the past, the minimum wage revisions led to a shocking amount of turmoil. In 2018 one worker was killed, dozens were left injured and thousands lost their jobs. Clean Clothes Campaign stands in solidarity with unions in Bangladesh fighting for a higher and more just minimum wage. We urge all involved parties to respect the right of trade unions to peacefully and collectively campaign for their wage demands.

Notes to editor:
- BILS "Mind the Gap" report:
- BILS summary flyer:

published 2023-07-17