‘Make minimum wage for garment workers a compliance issue’

September 03, 2013 - Germany

Bangladesh’s Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus has proposed that an international minimum wage for garment workers should be worked out separately for each country, and the minimum wage so worked out should be accepted as a compliance issue, said a press release.
 
Speaking at the Humboldt-Viadrina School of Governance in Berlin on addressing the issues raised in Bangladesh after the Rana Plaza tragedy, Prof. Yunus highlighted the major issues relating to the garment industry and proposed a comprehensive global initiative to solve these problems across all garment producing countries.
 
Mr. Yunus proposed working out an international minimum wage for garment workers for each country separately. He suggested that the international minimum wage should be accepted as a compliance issue, and should not be a subject of any price negotiation.
 
He said international buyers will accept the minimum wage as part of production cost and make sure that price negotiation does not impact on the minimum wage in any country.
 
Elaborating his idea of creating social businesses to offer ‘Happy Workers Tags’ at an additional cost of minimum of 10 percent on top of the production cost, Prof. Yunus said the money so collected will be used by social businesses to deliver important social and health services for a specific period, to the specific group of workers who were involved in producing those garments.
 
The conference was convened by Yunus Centre in Dhaka and the Humboldt-Viadrina School of Governance for preparation to organize a global conference to launch Garment Industry Transparency Initiative (GITI) at the suggestion of Professor Yunus.
 
GITI is conceived to be a joint approach of Governments, factory owners, labor, and the retailing companies, and the civil society in both producing and consuming countries. It will find an agreement among the involved parties with regard to comprehensive standards on labor conditions.