Statement by the Garment Workers Alliance Supporting Bangladeshi Workers’ Demand for a Minimum Wage of Tk 23,000

We, as the Garment Workers Alliance, Bangladesh, representing a strong coalition of trade unions, are committed to championing the well-being and rights of garment workers in Bangladesh. We stand in unwavering unity to vehemently advocate for justice and dignity of the vital workforce underpinning our nation’s economy. We emphatically demand the immediate establishment of a minimum wage of Tk 23,000 (USD 209) for our indefatigable and diligent garment workers. 

Our cause is of paramount significance. For far too long, those who labour tirelessly to clothe the world have endured appallingly meagre wages, making them victims of economic injustice. The recent proposition by Md Siddiqur Rahman, acting on behalf of factory owners, suggesting a minimum monthly salary of Tk 12,500*, is a profound injustice that we reject. 

We also vehemently denounce the proposal by the workers’ representative in the minimum wage board for garment workers, which recommends a minimum monthly wage of Tk 20,393 (USD 185.3). While this figure comes closer to acknowledging the true value of the workers’ contributions, it still falls short of our expectations and the harsh economic realities our workers face daily. 

Presently, the minimum wage for garment workers in Bangladesh stands at a mere BDT 8,000 (USD 72.7). This meagre sum starkly mirrors the dire conditions in which our workers have been ensnared for the past five years. During this time, they have endured wages that barely sufficed to bring them above the poverty line, all while the cost of living has skyrocketed and the COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on their lives. This is a grave injustice. 

Trade unions nationwide unite in their demand for an increase in the minimum wage, recognizing it as a pivotal step toward ensuring that our garment workers and their families possess the basic resources necessary for daily survival and resilience during times of crisis, including the looming economic recession. 

The inadequacy of these wages not only detrimentally affects the well-being of our workers but also ripples outwards to impact the well-being of their families. The Garment Workers Alliance, Bangladesh, wholeheartedly supports garment workers and their unions in their call for: 

  1. An immediate raise in the monthly minimum wage to Tk 23,000 (USD 209), ensuring that the tireless efforts of our labour force receive their rightful compensation. 
  2. The establishment of an annual negotiation process to update the minimum wage in alignment with the rising inflation rates, preventing the erosion of their living standards. 

We urge everyone to come together and unite in the fight for our right to fair wages and improved working conditions. The time for change is upon us, and we will not relent until our demands are met and justice prevails for the unsung heroes of our nation’s garment industry. 

Together, we can forge a brighter future for our workers, their families, and our nation. In unity, we discover our strength, and in justice, we find our purpose. The Garment Workers Alliance, Bangladesh, stands unwavering in the pursuit of justice and dignity for all garment workers. 


Members of the Garment Workers Alliance: 

  1. Garments Workers’ Unity League (GSUL) 
  2. Textile Garments Workers Federation (TGWF)  
  3. Bangladesh Garment and Sweaters Workers’ Trade Union Center (GWTUC)  
  4. Green Bangla Garments Workers Federation (GBGWF)  
  5. Bangladesh Garments and Industrial Workers’ Federation (BGSSF) 
  6. Readymade Garments Workers Federation 
  7. Motherland Garments Workers Federation 
  8. Bangladesh Progotishil Garments Worker Federation 
  9. Bangladesh Garments Textile Workers Federation 
  10. Bangladesh Garments Labor Congress Federation 
  11. Sommilito Sramik Federation 
  12. Bangladesh Garments Workers and Employees Federation 
  13. Bangladesh National Labour Federation (BNLF) 
  14. Jago Bangladesh Garments Shramic Federation (JBGSF) 
  15. Garments Shromik Karmachari Oikay Parishad (G-SKOP)

* While the proposal by factory owners was initially Tk 10,400, the figure was later revised to Tk 12,500 on November 7 after the last wage board meeting. This figure has been declared as the new minimum wage for garment workers by the Labor Minister.