The Bargaining for a Living Wage conference, which brought together 130 representatives of textile, garment and leather workers’ unions, finished in Copenhagen today, 18 June 2012.
The second day of the conference opened with an all-female panel, which discussed the links between vulnerable workers and poverty wages. Michele O’Neil, National Secretary of the Textile, Clothing and Footwear Union of Australia, advised that unions should not limit their demands to guaranteeing a living wage but equally concentrate on ensuring the supply of work.
IndustriALL Global Union leadership participated in the conference, and considered how IndustriALL could support the work of affiliates on the ground by campaigning for multinationals to ensure all workers in their global supply chains are paid a living wage. Fernando Lopes drew attention to the importance of organizing, emphasizing that organizing is the basis for strong trade unions. Kemal Özkan described the Inditex GFA as a benchmark for IndustriALL in terms of its application to the supply chain and the provision in the agreement relating to the payment of a living wage.
Affiliates debated what would be the important components of a living wage campaign in IndustriALL and agreed that a structured approach targeting MNEs, employers and Governments is necessary. Unions committed to taking concrete steps to achieve a living wage, to increasing national, regional and international cooperation on this issue, and to regularly share developments.