Productivity: The Key to Funding Living Wages?

This discussion paper is designed to explore the relationships between productivity, efficiency and living wages, and to locate productivity and efficiency gains within the larger universe of options for funding living wages. It 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.

This paper is written for a variety of readers who are involved with work on living wages, but who may not normally deal with productivity, efficiency or product pricing as part of their everyday work, including CSR managers, trade unionists, government policymakers or NGO staff, for example. This paper was published as part of FWF’s Living Wage Incubator programme, under the Strategic Partnership for Garment Supply Chain Transformation.

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