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The minimum wage for garment workers in Bangladesh will rise by 51 percent from December, the country’s Junior Minister for Labour and Employment, Mujibul Haque, has said.

Workers busy at a garment factory in Bangladesh
Workers busy at a garment factory in Bangladesh

Haque told reporters after months of negotiations with factory owners and workers that the new minimum wage has been increased from 5,300 to 8,000 taka ($95) a month.

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.

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