Low pay is an issue that affects millions of workers throughout the world. Whether developed or developing, rich or poor, countries have struggled to lift all workers onto a wage that covers the cost of living.
In the UK, the Living Wage Foundation has spearheaded the campaign for decent wages. Over 5,000 companies have joined this movement in the UK, lifting 200,000 workers onto a Living Wage and putting over a billion pounds back into the pockets of low paid workers. Campaigns in other countries have enjoyed success, however, there is a still a long way to go.
Global Living Wage
In recent years, business leaders, government officials, academics, NGOs and unions have expressed interest in a global approach to delivering a Living Wage. In response, the Living Wage Foundation (LWF) has been exploring the possibility of developing such a global, collaborative approach.
As part of our Global Living Wage initiative we undertook an extensive international engagement exercise in 2015 to develop a set of Living Wage Principles. Through holding discussions, and securing support from over one hundred experts, a set of six Living Wage Principles was created. These principles can found in our summary report The Living Wage: Core principles.
SDGs and Living Wage Report
This report shows how a global expansion of the Living Wage could help to deliver a range of UN Sustainable Development Goals including those to end poverty and hunger, improve health and wellbeing, expand quality education, deliver gender equality, provide clean water and sanitation, ensure good work and reduce inequalities.
Following on from the 2015 roundtables, several Living Wage Employers, multi stakeholder agencies and other interested parties, came together to discuss harnessing the increasing interest in a global Living Wage approach to address in-work poverty across all sectors and multiple geographies, as part of a unified, global process.
A second round of international discussions was convened in 2017 to consolidate support and continue to develop interest in the Principles. Between May and July 2017, the LWF facilitated seven international conference calls (“Living Wage Dialogues”). These drew together an international coalition of key stakeholders interested in developing successful Living Wages around the world, and in finding a way to progress the growth of a global Living Wage movement.
The group members are now consolidating ideas and opinions from the Dialogue participants, and considering next steps to develop the Global Living Wage movement.
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