Why it is time for a living wage now ?
|A living wage is a human right. Yet the truth is that the majority of workers in the global fashion industry cannot afford to live with dignity, and earn no more than €6 a day in an industry worth over €34 billion across Europe.
Back in 2011, the United Nations said that in cases where the state fails to protect human rights – such as when the legal minimum wage fails to meet the minimum subsistence level (living wage) – businesses must still respect the human right to a living wage. They cannot just take advantage of this state failure.
However, for the majority of garment workers, the reality is different. Every day, garment workers all over the world head to the factory where they have to work long hours to make ends meet and are barely able to buy the basic necessities for life.
To reach the living wage, a Bangladeshi garment worker, for example, would need to work more than 22 hours a day, every day of the week! It’s simply impossible.
WHAT'S A LIVING WAGE?
A living wage should be earned in a standard working week and allow a garment worker to buy food for herself and her family, pay the rent, pay for healthcare, clothing, transportation and education and have a small amount of savings for when something unexpected happens.