Garment workers typically earn only the statutory minimum wage and the statutory minimum wages of potential sourcing countries is an important criterion for the sourcing decisions of fashion brands and retailers. An EU minimum wage directive can set a cross-country standard for higher minimum wages that would also fight the constant relocation threat and wage competition between European countries.
Many European garment workers even earn below the statutory minimum wage
In all 15 investigated European countries, the non-payment of minimum wages is quite widespread in the garment industry. A workers’ human right to a living wage -- a wage allowing for a decent living of the workers and their family -- must be reflected in a minimum wage directive. It should be the aim of minimum wage setting. And costs of decent living must be the binding criteria for the adequacy of a minimum wage. This is still missing in the current proposed directive.
Read here the full statement on the amended proposal of the committee’s rapporteurs as of April 2021.
Read here the formal feedback on the EU Commission’s proposed directive as of December 2020.
Earlies this month Clean Clothes Campaign launched a cross-border living wage benchmark for 15 European countries. Read more about the Europe Floor Wage here.