To end poverty wages that haunt workers in Ethiopia’s textile and garment sector, IndustriALL Global Union affiliate the Industrial Federation of Textile, Leather and Garment Workers Trade Unions (IFTLGWU) is leading a campaign for better wages, workers’ rights to organise, and collective bargaining.
The campaign targets the industrial parks set up by the government including Bole Lemi in Addis Ababa where South Korean garment manufacturer, Shints, employs 4,300 workers, of whom 3,800 are union members. Other parks targeted by the campaign includeHawassa and Mekele.
According to these unions, minimum wages are the starting point in reversing low wages and they should be included in the new labour laws under consideration.
Eventually the unions want to shift the campaign to living wages. Unions are campaigning for minimum wages above ETB 3373 (US$121). These wages can be pegged using the official minimum wage, ETB1800 (US$64)), or the consumer price index, ETB2400 (US$86). Current wages average below US$50.