Fair Wear launches new living wage project in Macedonia

With the support of CNV Internationaal, FWF has launched an innovative 12-month project to find ways of improving wage levels in Macedonia’s garment industry, and to develop the second generation of FWF’s Wage Ladder tool.

The goal of the project is to examine the relationship between wages and productivity, and to identify areas where productivity increases can be used to support better wages for workers.  Previous research has shown that one of the root causes of a factory’s inability to pay a living wage are low efficiency levels – for example poorly trained workers, inefficient production planning or obsolete equipment can all add costs which in turn put pressure on wages.  The project is aligned with FWF’s longstanding belief that improvements for workers requires a focus on pragmatic, concrete changes in business practices.

FWF’s Wage Ladder tool provides a way to analyse and visualize wage data from a factory and compare it with a variety of country-specific benchmarks.  The first version of the tool was piloted in Macedonia, and FWF is pleased to again be working with Macedonian stakeholder groups to develop version 2.0.

During the project, FWF will conduct productivity assessments at 5 factories in Macedonia to identify the most important productivity factors that keep wages low. The results will show possibilities for improving productivity while at the same time increasing wage levels. The updated Wage Ladder tool will be used to aid with analysis of wages in these factories.

The methodologies developed in this project together with the wage analysis results will help FWF members working in Macedonia and other countries to better understand the relationships between wages and productivity. By piloting these assessments at factories, FWF will develop best practices examples, and will address key questions such as how to ensure that productivity increases benefit workers.

For more information about this project contact Annabel Meurs.

The Wage Ladder tool is available to the public. For more information, and to request access, please click here.

Related programmes