Living Wage – continuing the journey

Female garment worker on a factory sewing floor, India

As Living Wage Week comes to an end, the work to try to achieve it for workers in the UK and around the world continues.

At ETI we will continue to keep up with key thinking and developments in the field and prompt critical thinking into practical ways of identifying a Living Wage and increasing wages so that they move closer to this ideal.

For example, we and several of our members are taking part in the European Conference on a Living Wage in Berlin on November 25th and 26th. We hosted a pre-conference consultation with businesses, NGOs and trade unions in London – one of a series across Europe run by the Dutch and German organisers of the conference. The purpose of the conference is to bring together key players from different stakeholder groups – companies, NGOs, trade unions and governments – to bring about “A positive shift towards realising living wages by building an international coalition that actively implements living wages for workers in international supply chains.” There is still time to participate – and you can do so in two ways: 1) Attend the conference in person or 2) Log in to the stakeholder forum and comment on the Declaration of Intent and Action Plan.

Our learning from the conference and from our ongoing work to bring together the latest current Living Wage resources and reports will feed in to a workshop for our members in January at which we will challenge ourselves to explore the underlying drivers of low wages and practical ways that we can increase them.

We have invited speakers from academia, from labour and analysis organisations and from amongst our members themselves to prompt this deeper thinking and to share our experience on practical ways forward.

But we know that there’s only so much you can do in a one day workshop – so this will be just the beginning of the conversation. Members will form ‘communities of practice’ to continue to share their experiences and ideas to continually improve their efforts to improve the wages of workers throughout their supply chains.

As lessons emerge, we will share them on our website (watch this space!) and through our training and resources, so that others can benefit from what we have learned. Together we hope to make significant progress in the journey towards a Living Wage for all workers wherever they might be.


ETI's blog covers issues at the intersection of business, news and ethical trade. We welcome a range of insights and opinions from our guest bloggers, though don't necessarily agree with everything they say.