In: New Internationalist, 2020, pp. 32-33
The interview examines the role of Asian garment workers in a ruthlessly competitive garment industry influenced by 'fast fashion', which intensifies pressure on workers through forced overtime and 'inhuman productivity targets'. The Asia Floor Wage Alliance was created to unite unions across the borders of countries such as India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka competing for market share, to create a regional bloc able to negotiate with the global brands in the industry. The aim was to ensure there is a cross-border minimum wage which cannot be breached, though the aim is also to raise wages, which would only entail a small rise to consumers. There is now recognition of the principle of an Asia Floor Wage across the industry, supported by the International Labour Organization (ILO), but pressure on the brands is needed. AFWA works with other labour rights bodies and NGOs, and also has partners in Europe and the US, where the global brands have their headquarters.