Alerts

Please help more than two million mostly young women garment workers in Bangladesh climb out of misery!

June, 09 2010 Share

Factory owners in Bangladesh are proposing a new minimum wage of just 14 cents an hour.

The workers are asking for 43 cents an hour, which would allow them to climb out of misery and at least into poverty--where they could hang on by the fingertips and live with a modicum of decency.

Tell Wal-Mart and the other major apparel companies that we want them to support the 43-cent-an-hour minimum wage.

Under Factory Owners' Proposed New Minimum Wage:
Bangladeshi Workers would earn less than they did in 2006

Bangladesh's garment workers have not had a wage increase in the last four years, since 2006, when the minimum wage was set at 1,662 Taka ($23.91) a month.

2006 Minimum Wage

  • 11 ½ cents an hour
  • 92 cents a day (8 hrs)
  • $5.52 a week (48 hrs)
  • $23.91 a month
  • $286.96 a year

Now, in June 2010, the factory owners are proposing a new minimum wage of  1,989 Taka ($28.62) per month (14 cents an hour).

2010 New Minimum Wage Proposal by Factory Owners

  • 14 cents an hour
  • $1.10 a day (8 hrs)
  • $6.60 a week (48 hrs)
  • $28.62 a month
  • $343.44 a year

But neither the current wage nor the factory owners' minimum wage proposal comes even remotely close to providing the most basic subsistence needs of a worker, let alone her family. These are starvation wages on which no human being can survive.

And, it gets even worse:  The compounded inflation rate from 2006 to 2009 reached 32.5 percent, meaning that real wages plummeted. The "increased" wage of 14 cents an hour that the factory owners are proposing can only buy what 10 ½ cents could buy in 2006, meaning the workers will fall even deeper into misery.

The Bangladeshi workers and unions are demanding a modest real wage increase to 6,200 Taka ($89.21) a month.

Worker and Union Proposal

  • 43 cents an hour
  • $3.43 a day (8 hours)
  • $20.59 a week (48 hours)
  • $89.21 a month
  • $1,070.50 a year

Surely, a 43 cent hourly minimum wage could not be opposed by companies like Wal-Mart, Nike, Adidas, Hanes, Kohl's and other corporations!  In 2009, Wal-Mart made $39.3 million in profits per day.

Please help!

  • Sign on to joint letter to Wal-Mart--26 seconds can make a world of difference
    The letter will be sent to Wal-Mart on Wednesday, June 23 with cc's to the Bangladeshi Government, the National Garment Workers' Federation and Bangladesh Center for Workers Solidarity.
  • Share this alert!  Ask your friends and contacts to sign

Notes

Inflation Rate in Bangladesh  (Source:  International Monetary Fund)

  • 2006-7 .076
  • 2007-9 .111
  • 2008-7 .712
  • 2009-5 .284

Exchange Rate:  $1.00 U.S. = 69.5 Bangladeshi Taka

In 2009, Wal-Mart earned $14.3 billion in profits.