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Article

10 May 2019

Author:
CNBC

Ethiopia's garment workers are world's lowest paid, says report

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"Report: Ethiopia's garment workers are world's lowest paid"

Ethiopian garment factory workers are now, on average, the lowest paid in any major garment-producing company worldwide, a new report says. The report by the New York University Stern Center for Business and Human Rights comes as Ethiopia, one of Africa's fastest-growing economies, pursues a bold economic experiment by inviting the global garment industry to set up shop in its mushrooming industrial parks. "The government's eagerness to attract foreign investment led it to promote the lowest base wage in any garment-producing country — now set at the equivalent of $26 a month," according to the authors of the report, Paul M. Barrett and Dorothée Baumann-Pauly. In comparison, Chinese garment workers earn $340 a month, those in Kenya earn $207 and those in Bangladesh earn $95...

According to the report, most young Ethiopian workers are hardly able to get by to the end of the month and are not able to support family members. "I'm left with nothing at the end of the month," one factory worker, Ayelech Geletu, 21, told The Associated Press last year. The minimum monthly living wage in Ethiopia is about $110), according to Ayele Gelan, a research economist at the Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research. "Given relatively little training, restive employees have protested by stopping work or quitting altogether. Productivity in the Hawassa factories typically is low, while worker disillusionment and attrition are high," the report says.

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