The current COVID-19 pandemic illustrates the importance of having the tools to build more equal and inclusive societies that are resilient in the face of pandemics, climate change, economic crises and the many other challenges we face.
At amfori, we firmly believe that every worker should earn a living wage, and this is something that we have always encouraged our members to work towards. The implementation of a living wage in our members’ global supply chains would enable workers and their families to break out of poverty and live a decent life. To that end and to re-confirm our commitment we have released a briefing on this topic, amfori’s Living Wage Journey: Taking Stock and Setting the Way Forward.
Inequality within and among countries is a persistent cause for concern 1. Despite a decline in global poverty levels since 2000, almost 10% of the world’s workers and their families still live below the internationally agreed poverty line of less than USD 1.90 per person per day.
The rise of income inequality is a social, political and economic issue that must be addressed. Poverty wages and the resulting income inequality diminishes the resilience of communities and vulnerable groups such as low-income workers, migrant workers and women and undermines their ability to deal with unexpected events2.
In many developing countries the minimum wages are often below the minimum threshold to live a decent life. Consequently, workers and their families cannot meet basic needs such as housing, nutritious food or education, and struggle to rise out of poverty. In an attempt to fill this income gap, workers may work excessive overtime which can result in mental and physical wellbeing risks that put the whole family in a vulnerable position. It also increases the likelihood of flagrant violations in the areas of child and forced labour.
That’s why, in line with our mission to advance human prosperity, we are reconfirming our commitment to advancing living wages in global supply chains.
Since its early development, amfori has actively contributed to developing new approaches to advance the implementation of a living wage in global supply chains and remains committed to doing so.
Our briefing on a living wage serves as a critical reflection on our journey on the topic to date. It outlines the steps we have taken so far, the lessons we have learned, the challenges that remain and the actions that we will take, alongside our members and stakeholders, to work towards the implementation of a living wage in global supply chains.
 OECD report ‘In it Together’, 2015: http://www.oecd.org/social/inequality.htm