Bangladesh’s government has announced a plan to raise the minimum wage for garment workers after the worst industrial disaster in the country’s history killed 1,127.
Bangladesh is one of the world’s largest exporters of clothing, and the minimum wage for garment workers in the country is the world’s lowest at about $38 a month. The low cost of doing business in Bangladesh has attracted some of the world’s largest retailers that want cheap clothes with a quick turnaround.
Factory owners are against the hike because they’re under pressure from Western retailers to produce such inexpensive clothing.
“If we are to pay higher wages, we may have to go to the retailer and say, ‘Stop doing ‘Buy one, get one free,'” Abdus Salam Murshedy, co-owner of large garment manufacturer Envoy Group, told The Wall Street Journal.
The Bangladesh government is also going to allow the country’s garment workers to form unions without their employer’s permission, according to the Associated Press.
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