The Business Social Compliance Initiative (BSCI) has welcomed an increase in the minimum monthly wage, which came into force in Turkey on 1 January 2015. A mandated Commission formed by representatives of unions, employers and the Turkish government, agreed on a 12.3% salary increase to be implemented in two phases: an initial 6% rise in the first six months of the year and an additional 6% for the second half of 2015. Following this decision, the minimum wage rose from 846 Turkish liras to 949 at the beginning of 2015 to be further incremented to 1,000 liras during the second half of the year.
Around five million people will benefit from this salary increase, which is still far from the amount recommended by the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat). The institution pointed out in a report that a manual labourer requires at least 1,424 liras to ensure a minimum subsistence. Says Lorenz Berzau, BSCI Managing Director, “In many countries, ensuring fair remuneration is a challenge. The BSCI Code of Conduct emphasises the principle of fair remuneration, obliging suppliers of BSCI participants to pay the minimum legal wage and encouraging suppliers to work towards a living wage that also takes qualitative aspects into account".
Meanwhile BSCI is taking a range of other actions to boost labour conditions in this important sourcing country, including facilitating a Round Table meeting on 15 January to discuss labour issues including migrant labour, health and safety and challenges and experiences of labour unions in that country, amongst others.