AMSTERDAM – Today, Fair Wear Foundation is launching the Living Wage Portal. Using this platform, FWF aims to uncover and overcome the many obstacles that prevent garment workers from earning a living wage.
Why do living wages still seem an impossible dream for most garment workers? For FWF, the best wage is a negotiated wage, set by businesses and workers together. But in major- garment producing countries, productive dialogue between workers and factories is far too rare. A key roadblock to better wages for workers.
There is no single, simple solution for wage issues in the garment industry. The Living Wage Portal offers real-life examples of brands working with factories towards living wages – like FWF member Switcher did by setting aside a certain amount per garment for Chinese workers at one of their suppliers. The innovative platform also offers insights from Oxfam and IndustriALL, considerations for living wage implementation, access to tools and voices from workers and local stakeholders.
FWF realises that the road to living wages may be a long one – all the more reason to start the journey right away. ‘There is no excuse for waiting: this portal shows that there are steps towards paying living wages that the industry can take today’, says FWF director Erica van Doorn. ‘FWF hopes that all actors in the industry will be inspired by the solutions and the experiences discussed on the portal and will continue to add new examples for others to learn from.’
Get to work now
The Living Wage Portal is aimed at (FWF member) brands and all other actors working on living wages in the garment industry. No single actor – worker, union, factory, brand, government, consumer – alone has the power to ‘just’ pay higher wages, in any sustainable way. Collaboration is the key. FWF’s Living Wage Portal offers the opportunity to share progress and learn from each other.
FWF developed the Living Wage Portal with the generous support of Mondiaal FNV. ‘Complicated issues are divided into manageable pieces for different actors in the chain, so no one can hide anymore’, says Head of Mondiaal FNV Dian van Unen, about the web portal. ‘Everyone can get to work now, to deal with a piece of the problem.’
Visit the Living Wage Portal here. The portal will be updated on a regular basis.