‘Is Productivity the key to funding Living Wages?’ That is the main question in FWF’s latest discussion paper, designed to explore the relationships between productivity, efficiency and living wages.
Stakeholders working with FWF often identify productivity or efficiency increases at factories as ‘the solution’ to living wages: if factory productivity is increased, there will be enough money to improve wages.
Many brands also question whether paying more to support wages without addressing productivity issues is the equivalent of rewarding the poor efficiency of factories.
The discussion paper begins with a basic overview of how productivity and efficiency interact in the garment industry. It then outlines the potential effects of productivity drives on both costs and workers, and discusses the importance of negotiating with workers on how to manage the potential negative impacts of productivity increases.