Dhaka, Bangladesh – Owners of garment factories in Bangladesh are reportedly prepared to raise the minimum wage they pay workers from 50%-80% and ask retailers to pay at least some of the extra cost.
According to Reuters, factory owners have offered a minimum wage of about $46 per month. Workers have requested a minimum wage of about $102 per month, and the government is expected to order an increase in a middle range of $54-$66 per month. Current minimum wage is about $39 a month.
Whatever amount the minimum wage is increased, factory owners are expected to ask retailers to pay about 5%-15% more than they do now for garments manufactured in Bangladesh. The higher wages come as an attempt to end a series of strikes that have been occurring in Bangladesh since September 2013 and also as several recent disasters in Bangladeshi factories have increased public scrutiny of working conditions there.
Spokespeople for Wal-Mart and H&M said they are working with Bangladesh to review and increase minimum wages at garment factories while a J.C. Penney spokesperson declined comment. Bangladesh is the second-largest garment exporter in the world.