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Living Wage for All! - We Demand $172.5 - Unite for Asia Floor Wage 

2011-05-01 - CLEC



People Tribunal in CJCC, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
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PRESS RELEASE

DATE: May 1, 2011

CONTACT: [Local country contact]

 

May 1, 2011 is a Global Day of Action for Living Wage! Today, garment workers across Asia unite to demand a living wage for an 8-hour work day --- and stand in one voice for Asia Floor Wage!!

In 2009 a large Asian Alliance of unions and labour rights activists defined and calculated a floor wage (a minimum living wage) for Asian garment workers, which would guarantee that workers receive at least enough to meet basic needs for themselves and their families. Today, we are releasing new minimum living wage benchmarks for 2011 and 2012, based on the same definition but adjusted for two years of inflation.* 

Following are the minimum living wage demands, by country, as per the Asia Floor Wage formula of 540 PPP$ for the year 2011:
 

Cambodia 690390 Riel
India 7938 Rupees
Indonesia 2124468 Rupiah
Srilanka 19008 Rupees
China 1836 RMB

 

Currently, the gap between the minimum wage and Asia Floor Wage is almost 1:2, in the best case scenario – showing that the minimum wage is far from a minimum living wage. 

The garment industry in Asia, which employs predominantly women workers, is renowned for poverty wages, excessive overtime and poor working conditions. The poverty level wages force workers to augment their income through other means (such as inhuman overtime) leading to stressful, broken lives. We expect a more thoughtful response from our government. 

The Asia Floor Wage (AFW) campaign is a collective demand for a minimum living wage for Asian garment workers who manufacture the majority of the world’s clothing. The AFW Alliance urges retailers and brand-named companies to start a dialogue with labour organisations in Asian countries to address poverty wages.

The current labour discontent and industrial actions in Asian countries underline the necessity to achieve a regional living wage. In the global garment industry, brands and retailers wield the most power. The AFW alliance campaigns for an Asia-wide increase of wages to a minimum living wage level, to which the global buyers would contribute most. 

Brands and retailers have profited hugely from outsourcing production to low-wage countries, capitalising on poverty wages and benefiting from weak enforcement of labour laws. The AFW alliance urges global buyers to factor the wage demands into their price negotiations with suppliers.

We urge our government to stand with us, the working people, to ensure that brands and retailers work with our supplier factories to deliver living wage during a standard working day for garment workers.

Asia Floor Wage secretariats: asiafloorwage@gmail.com (+91-9810970627),

asiafloorwage.sea@gmail.com (+60105017225). 

*Asia Floor Wage is a minimum floor wage formula for Asian workers in the global garment supply chain – based on a family with food and non-food expenses. It translates into different local currencies through the PPP (Purchasing Power Parity) conversion factor for each country. In 2009, the formula was 475 PPP$. Visit www.asiafloorwage.org for more details.



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