The government of Bangladesh has recently established a new minimum wage for garment workers, and although this is a step in the right direction, there is a lot more to be done.
After several months of negotiations and discussions, the minimum wage for garment workers was increased from approximately USD $65 to USD $95 per month, approximately half what workers and advocacy groups say is needed to live comfortably in Bangladesh. In January 2018, the government formed a working group to define the parameters of a new minimum wage by July, 2019. However discussions between factory owners, worker unions, and other stakeholders delayed the schedule until September, 2019.
In an industry that has been shaped by informality and self-serving interests for more than two decades, change has been slow. However, as history has shown, we mustn’t expect that significant change happens all at once. Rather, it is the reward of an ongoing and strategic commitment to a struggle against dominant conditions.
Progoti is a part of the effort to do just that. We may begin as outliers, but over time, we intend to help people to understand the need for improvement and to embrace a new, progressive and hopeful way of thinking.
We are motivated to lead the way and set an example for a new type of social enterprise that works to improve industry standards and benefit its most vulnerable stakeholders. Although the new minimum wage is not enough to provide for a decent living, it is a positive signal of change. Workers need continued support to achieve fairer working conditions, and we at Progoti, by providing life and retirement insurance, are doing our part.
#JoinTheProgress and help us set an example of how new social enterprises can leverage business to generate impactful change.