Bangladesh raises wages for garment workers

DHAKA (Reuters) - The minimum wage for garment workers in Bangladesh will rise by 51 percent from December, the junior minister for labour and employment said on Thursday.

The new minimum has been set at 8,000 taka ($95) a month, up from 5,300, Mujibul Haque told reporters after months of negotiations with factory owners and workers.

Bangladesh, the world’s second largest clothing exporter, last increased wages for garment workers late in 2013 following international pressure after a string of fatal factory accidents that thrust poor working conditions and pay into the spotlight.

Low wages and trade deals with Western countries have made the sector a $30 billion industry accounting for four-fifths of its exports, with retailers such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc, JC Penney Company Inc and H&M Hennes & Mauritz AB buying clothes from its factories.

Writing by Ruma Paul; editing by Andrew Roche