Garment worker pays 45% above living wage, report says

Workers in major apparel and footwear-producing countries receive on average just 55% of the wages they need to achieve a decent standard of living, according to data released Monday by The Industry We Want, a coalition of industry players. industry calling for better working conditions and environmental sustainability in fashion.

the study compared statutory minimum wages in 13 countries to living wage criteria set by organizations such as the WageIndicator Foundation, the Global Living Wage Coalition and the Clean Clothes Campaign. Indonesia had the largest pay gap at 71%, followed by China at 68%, while Honduras and Turkey were the lowest at 3% and 5% respectively. More than half of the countries, including India, Vietnam, Cambodia and China, had a gap of more than 50%, meaning that the minimum wage in the country was less than half of what organizations of fair remuneration consider as a living wage.

The findings come at a time of prolonged uncertainty for workers in the global apparel industry, where issues of wage theft and underpayment during the pandemic are currently being compounded by inflationary pressures on the cost of clothing. life. One July 2021 report by the Clean Clothes campaign estimated workers owed $11.85 billion in unpaid wages and severance between March 2020 and March 2021.

Learn more:

Brands face new pressure on labor rights

Activists and regulators are stepping up scrutiny of brands after flimsy protections for garment workers collapsed under pandemic stress.

Michael A. Bynum