Asia Floor Wage
What is it and why do we need one?
Most of the world’s garments are made in Asia, and yet the Asian workers who make them are not paid enough to live on.
The garment industry in Asia provides millions of job to millions of women and men, it has been behind some of the biggest economic growth in the region.
But this rapid growth has come at a price – and it is the workers who are paying it.
All garment workers in Asia need a wage increase to be able to provide for themselves and their families basic needs – including housing, food, education and healthcare. However often when workers struggle to improve their wage and conditions in one country, companies relocate to another country where wages and conditions are lower.
Workers, are therefore, afraid to fight for better wages because they might lose their jobs.
The solution – An Asia Floor Wage
The Asia Floor Wage proposes a wage for garment workers across Asia that would be enough for workers to live on.
Based on some common factors including the number of family members to be supported, the basic nutritional needs of a worker and their dependents and their other basic needs including healthcare and education, the Asia Floor Wage is able to calculate the minimum amount needed to constitute a living wage.
The Asia Floor Wage is calculated in PPP$ – Purchasing Power Parity $, which is an imaginary currency built on the consumption of goods and services by people, this currency allows us to compare the standard of living between countries, regardless of the national currency. You can read more about how it is calculated here.
Currently (2017) the Asia Floor Wage is calculated to be PPP$ 1181.
The Asia Floor Wage is different in each country’s national currency, but has the power to buy the same set of good and services in all countries.
One of Asia Floor Wage Alliance’ central tenets has been to build women workers and women leaders’ power in the global garment supply chain. All of AFWA’s work – such as its formulation of living wage, its core principles, National People’s Tribunals – have always placed women workers at the centre.