Caring about people
Caring about people
We choose to work with some of the most ethical and responsible factories and strive for all of them to pay fair wages that cover the cost of living. In Bangladesh, the local government sets the minimum wage to ensure fair pay for garment workers, while at the same time, maintain competitiveness for garment producers. Our partner factories guarantee this legal minimum wage and fundamental legal requirements such as in-house childcare facilities, maternity leave, and medical facility. They also offer additional benefits like free transportation, performance and attendance bonuses, and progressive pay scales. However, the minimum wage does not correspond to a living wage as defined by the Global Living Wage Coalition (GLWC).* On our side, we strive to get all our partner factories to pay a fair wage that covers the cost of living and we remain engaged in finding new and innovative ways of paying workers a living wage. With the commitment and support of our CEO and top management to achieve living wages, we continue to invest in concrete projects such as the Fair-priced Grocery Shops (FGS) to directly increase workers’ spending power and to improve their livelihoods. In 2022, FGS projects were run successfully in four factories: Meghna, Executive High Fashions, AusBangla and Interstoff. In two phases, almost 10,000 workers benefited from discounts of up to 50% on basic commodities like rice, oil, lentils, salt, sugar and soap. Although we acknowledge that this is not a long-term solution to the huge living wage issue, this initiative brings concrete benefits and is highly appreciated by the workers of our partner factories.
*The GLWC defines a living wage as the ‘remuneration received for a standard work week by a worker in a particular [time and] place sufficient to afford a decent standard of living for the worker and her or his family. Elements of a decent standard of living include food, water, housing, education, healthcare, transport, clothing and other essential needs including provision for unexpected events’.
Shilpy Akter Rahka Sewing operator visiting the Fair-priced Grocery Shop at Interstoff, Bangladesh.
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