Ethiopia: Proposed law to improve wages and promote safe working environment in industrial parks

Author: Birhanu Fikade, The Reporter (Ethiopia), Published on: 30 May 2019

"MoLSA to push for livable wages in ind. parks"

The newly amended Ethiopian labor law, which is initiated by the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs (MoLSA) and currently under review by the parliamentary standing committee, is said to have incorporated provisions that would help protect the basic rights of workers in terms of safe working environment and decent and livable wages, at the time when global rights advocates are increasingly publicizing the so called “exploitative” wages paid to works at newly built industrial park structures.        

During a workshop held on Thursday to discuss the overall labor management in Ethiopia and the upcoming amended labor law, Ergoge Tesfaye (PhD), Minister of Labor and Social Affairs, has urged factories and other companies working in the industrial parks, principally to adhere to the laws of the land and the international bill of rights and declarations that require employers to uphold certain labor standards. Abebe Abebayehu, Commissioner of Ethiopian Investment Commission (EIC), has also underscored the need for the protection of workers’ rights, and the mutual agreements of both employers and employees to guarantee industrial peace and productivity...

The meeting came a few days after, a new report dubbed: “made in Ethiopia: challenges in the garment industry’s new frontier,” which the New York University’s Stern Center for Business and Human Rights has published exclusively on Ethiopia, narrating how industrial wages are somehow exploitative in the textile factories, particularly in the Hawassa Industrial Park, where some 20,000 least paid laborers are struggling to live with a monthly wage of USD 26.

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