Agreement signatories Schijvens and Zeeman start cooperation for a living wage

03 September 2019
Industrial size textile factory, workers on the production line.

© Shutterstock

Schijvens Corporate Fashion and Zeeman Textielupers start a chain collaboration for paying living wages in a Pakistani textile factory. Both companies signed the Agreement for Sustainable Garments and Textile, the agreement has mediated between both companies to collaborate.

Living wage

Schijvens worked with the help of a calculation tool to determine a living wage for the MYM textile factory in Karachi Pakistan. They were assisted in this project by IDH (the Sustainable Trade Initiative), who interviewed the employees and together they determined the household costs. The wage that could bring about a viable situation turned out to be 29% higher in this situation than the statutory minimum wage that is currently being paid.

Collaboration

The secretariat of the Agreement mediated between Zeeman and Schijvens. Zeeman has joined the project, together they have decided to raise the prices in such a way that the factory owner is able to start the implementation of a living wage for all factory employees from 1 October 2019. Together they gain a majority of the business in this factory.
With this unique step, Schijvens and Zeeman hope to be an example for the textile industry and to inspire other companies to also take pragmatic steps and seek cooperation in the production chain.

Spin-off effect

Earlier this year, the secretariat organised a series of workshops on living wage for Signatories, as part of the Agreement’s collective project on living wage. In these workshops, companies helped companies by sharing their strategy and experiences on living wage. Schijvens gave an inspiring presentation by sharing it’s learnings around their first living wage project in Turkey with the other Signatories of the Agreement, incl. Zeeman. 

Other expert organisations joined in the living wage training as well. Fair Wear Foundation provided a training on costing methodology to purchasing staff of Signatories. The costing methodology of Fair Wear Foundation can help companies and suppliers to cost for living wages in prices paid.

The Agreement aims to promote collaboration between companies amongst each other and with international organisations working on living wage to increase leverage and make sectoral change possible. 

See also: Minister Kaag visits Zeeman about agreement

Involved in the IRBC agreement

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