May 14, 2012
Despite increasing attention to this issue - by multi-stakeholder initiatives, labour rights advocates and academics - there has been little or no progress on ensuring that workers who make apparel and other consumer products earn a wage that is sufficient to meet their basic needs. Why should workers who put in 60 plus hours a week be living below the poverty line in their country -- some making less than a dollar a day?
Some examples of this work:
A new study co-authored by the Maquila Solidarity Network (MSN - Canada), the Honduran Independent Monitoring Team (EMIH), and Professionals for Corporate Social Auditing (PASE - Nicaragua) challenges the conventional wisdom that competing on the basis of cheap labour is the only option for poor garment producing countries.
The Maquila Solidarity Network congratulates the Workers’ Action Centre (WAC), based in Toronto, Canada, on an important victory in its campaign against wage theft. WAC’s campaign has stopped the Ontario provincial government from making severe cuts in inspections and enforcement of employment standards regulations in the province.
The Peoples Tribunal on a Living Wage, which was held in Phnom Penh on February 5 and 6, found that the combination of inadequate nutrition, excessive working hours, and exposure to hot, dusty working environments and harmful chemicals amounts to "a systematic violation of [workers'] fundamental right to a decent human life."