As part of the European Conference on Living Wages (25 - 26 November 2013, Berlin, Germany), Lorenz Berzau, Managing Director of BSCI, presented BSCI's position in support of better wage practices. Entitled 'Engaging business in living wage initiatives', his speech was part of a conference that brought together European stakeholders to draft a Common Declaration and action plan regarding the living wage.
The action plan is intended to define the roles different actors should play in addressing the challenges of implementing living wages. These challenges have become increasingly apparent over the last decade as heterogeneous definitions, approaches and methodologies regarding the living wage have emerged, but none accepted with unanimity. To tackle this, the Common Declaration will act as a cornerstone for best practice in integrating the living wage concept into corporate strategy and its implementation in supplier factories, particularly in the industrial sector in Asia. BSCI is an active proponent of better wage practices.
The BSCI Code of Conduct stipulates that supplier companies shall pay the minimum 'legal wage', which in many countries is already a challenge. However, BSCI also encourages supplier companies to provide their employees with a living wage. Additionally, BSCI participates in the Fair Wages Network to regroup all the actors involved along the supply chain and present in the CSR arena who are ready to commit themselves to work to promote better wage practices. A revised Code of Conduct, which will be communicated as of 2014, reflects the expectation that the entire supply chain bears responsibility for this and highlights the principle of fair remuneration which takes into consideration not only the quantitative aspect but also the qualitative one. Contact: Lorenz Berzau, Managing Director, BSCI