” Everyone who works has the right to a fair and favorable remuneration that ensures him and his family an existence worthy of human dignity. » This fundamental principle was recognized by the United Nations in the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights. [article 23].
Anyone with a full-time job should not only be able to feed and house themselves, but also have access to care and education for themselves and their families. That is, access to a living wage.
Unfortunately, even in some so-called industrialized countries, this evidence is not yet a reality, and the ongoing excesses of inflation and economic stress are exacerbating already well-established inequalities.
Globally, the gap is striking, especially in countries where most of our electronics mining, processing and manufacturing operations are concentrated. A sector where people work in mines under particularly harsh conditions for less than $5 a day (about €4.80), or in factories where they assemble equipment on production lines for more than eighty hours a week to support themselves. . They are the hidden workforce behind the products in your hands.
It is therefore time for manufacturers in the electronics sector, all countries together, to ensure compliance with the transition beyond the minimum wage. Ideally, this should not be necessary: the legal minimum wage in manufacturing countries should be a living wage.
It is clear that very often this is not the case. According to International Labor Organization (ILO) statistics, one in five workers worldwide earns too little to lift themselves and their families out of extreme poverty. For example, research shows that in 2020, the living wage in four regions of China will actually be three times the local legal minimum wage.
Paying a living wage simply means treating workers as human beings, not “human resources” and respecting their inalienable dignity.
Little more than a cafe on the terrace
What’s more, a living wage guarantee is ridiculously low effort! Specifically, for a branded smartphone, it is 2 euros per device sold, barely more than a coffee on the terrace… Generalizing this commitment is not rocket science either: in many industries, including electronics, many actors have already done the work and shared their methodology, taking into account household costs and geographical differences for each production location.
Source: Le Monde
Ashley Fitzgerald is a financial whiz and a writer at Run Down Bulletin. With a passion for all things economy, she provides insightful and thought-provoking coverage of the latest economic trends and events.