For an average t-shirt costing £8.70, only £0.07 of this goes towards labour.
This weekend Stitched Up will join up with labour rights NGO ‘Labour Behind the Label’ to stage a Halloween weekend of events calling for a Living Wage for Garment Workers, worldwide.
On Saturday 26th October, Market Street will be overrun with zombies in the ‘Return of the Living Wage’. Activists from labour rights NGO Labour Behind the Label will lead consumers in a Halloween-themed protest through Market Street, against the exploitation of garment workers worldwide.
(Photo credit: Kelly Joseph)
Many garment workers live in appalling conditions earning poverty wages well beneath a living wage.
This leaves many workers living on the lowest possible wages of around £1.25 per day (about £330 a year!!). From this workers have to pay to support a family of children and elders, plus pay for rent, food, transport, medical bills and other necessities.
Such severely low wages lead many to malnourishment, or to borrow from unscrupulous loan sharks, leading to even further problems in their lives.
Increasing the price of a t-shirt by only 10p per garment would more than double workers wages and meet the Asia Floor Wage standard, in which a living wage is paid to all workers, meaning they were able to cover all living costs and have a minimum discretionary income.
Sunday 27th October will see Labour Behind the Label join the People’s History Museum’s ‘Fashion and Protest’ exhibition on the Left Bank. Featuring an exhibition exploring the realities for a garment worker living on minimum wage, and how this equates in terms of labour, there will also be inclusive activities for all ages. Members of the public will be invited to join the ‘Race for a Living Wage: educational exploitation for all the family!’ a fun free activity where they can compete against friends and family in a relay race on a garment factory assembly line.
Anna McMullen of Labour Behind the Label states: “The weekend of activities is fun and participatory, but there is a serious message behind them. We aim to offer a snapshot of what life is like for a garment worker earning minimum wage, and how inadequate this is in terms of covering basic human needs. The living wage is a human right, as marked out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and is fundamental to improving the lives of garment workers worldwide. UK brands need to take responsibility and start making changes towards paying their workers a living wage now.”
Details to take part:
Event: Zombie march for a Living Wage for garment workers
Date: Saturday 26th October Time: 13:00 – 14:00 Venue: Market Street, Manchester
Event: Race for a Living Wage exhibition and activities
Date: Sunday 27th October Time: 12:00 – 15:00 Venue: People’s History Museum, Left Bank
Labour Behind the Label is the UK platform of the Clean Clothes Campaign. The Clean Clothes Campaign (CCC) works to improve conditions and support the empowerment of workers in the global garment industry. The CCC has national campaigns in 15 European countries with a network of 250 organisations worldwide. Please see www.labourbehindthelabel.org and www.cleanclothes.org for further info.
UN Declaration of Human Rights Article 23 states: ‘Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work…’ and Article 25 states ‘Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services…’
For more information on the campaign for a Living Wage for garment workers please see: http://www.labourbehindthelabel.org/issues/itemlist/category/205-wages and http://www.cleanclothes.org/livingwage
For more information on the People’s History Museum www.phm.org.uk
For more information on further actions and events in Manchester, please visit the Labour Behind the Label Manchester Facebook page