Sunday, 1 May 2011

[MSN] Mainly women garment workers get half of living wage!

From the May 1st, 2011 Maquila Solidarity Network wire:

Asian Floor Wage Alliance calls for Global Day of Action on May Day

According to the Asia Floor Wage (AFW) Alliance, minimum wages in Asian garment producing countries are at best half of the living wage necessary for garment workers in the region to meet basic needs for themselves and their families. 

The problem of poverty wages is particularly acute for women workers. According to the Committee for Asian Women (CAW), a member of the AFW Alliance, "Women workers in the garment industry make up almost 80 percent of the export manufacturing workforce in the developing world...A strategy like Asia Floor Wage will be a solution in attenuating women's unequal bargaining power, gender wage gaps and in improving their well being."

This May 1, International Worker’s Day, the AFW Alliance is releasing new minimum wage demands for 2011 in the national currencies of major garment producing countries in Asia. The AFW Alliance is urging brand-name companies who source from Asia to open a dialogue with labour rights organisations in Asian countries to address poverty wages.

ITGLWF report slams precarious employment, abuse in sportswear supply chains

On April 20, the International Textile, Garment and Leather Workers’ Federation (ITGLWF) released a damning report, which found precarious employment, sexual harassment and abuse, anti-union activities and forced overtime in Asian sportswear supply chains supplying major brands like adidas, Gap, Nike, Speedo and others.

The report surveyed conditions in 83 factories in Sri Lanka, the Philippines and Indonesia which together employ over 100,000 workers. Researchers found scores of workers’ rights abuses, including rampant and sometimes illegal use of short-term contracts which rob workers of job security and often deny them their legal benefits.

Women, who represent approximately three quarters of the workforce studied, were more likely to be employed on short term and temporary contracts, were subjected to sexual harassment and abuse, and often were not paid proper maternity benefits. Four of the 17 factories studied in Sri Lanka were found to have forced prospective female employees to take pregnancy tests before hiring.

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