Workers' wages seem low, but isn't that because the cost of living is so much cheaper in garment-producing countries?

published 17-01-2013 13:50, last modified 23-06-2015 08:46
The cost of living in garment-producing countries is indeed cheaper than in the global north, but garment workers are still not paid a wage that covers their basic needs, such as food, shelter, clothing and education.

The Clean Clothes Campaign advocates a living wage – a wage that enables workers to provide for their families basic needs and allows them to participate fully in society and live with dignity.

A living wage should cover the cost of nutritious food and clean water, shelter, clothes, education, health care and transport, as well as allowing for a discretionary income (or, in less complex words, a bit of  money that garment workers can spend how they wish, and not just barely cover the essentials to stay alive) . It should take into account the cost of living, social security benefits and the relative standards of other groups.

The Asia Floor Wage Campaign has calculated a living wage for garment workers across Asia: using Purchasing Power Parity, a hypothetical currency published by the World Bank.