Payment of living wage and protection of agreed wages
Wages are a key issues in the carpet industry; especially weavers’ wages are often too low. That is why Label STEP pays special attention to the wage issue.
In every region of activity STEP calculates and updates the Living Wage every year. In many regions, average wages do not reach Living Wage level yet. That’s why STEP advocates with stakeholders – employers, buyers and authorities – for wage increases. Where the gap between market rate and Living Wage is too big to bridge immediately we aim at narrowing the gap gradually.
Most weavers are not paid hourly or monthly wages but piece rates. Label STEP’s Weaver Empowerment program provides weavers with market rates, governmental minimum wages and other relevant wage information and supports them in negotiating better deals with their employers and contractors. Financial literacy courses are organised to help weavers manage their personal and family budgets.
Wages paid for regular work or overtime work meet or exceed legal minimum wages and/or market rates, whichever is higher. Terms of payment and deductions must be agreed upon in advance, preferably in writing.
The local living wage, calculated on the basis of the ETI (Ethical Trading Initiative) formula, is set as a goal.
The terms of agreement define clear wages. If piece rates are agreed (for instance by knot; by square foot, square inch or square meter; per kaghaz, raj or piece rate or any other locally used measure) these rates allow a worker to produce the amount of pieces needed to reach the wage agreed beforehand during a normal working day of 8 hours at average productivity.
Payment is made timely and in a manner acceptable to both employer and worker. Advance payments do not entail interest.