The International Trade Unions Confederation (ITUC) slammed the wage rates offered in the budding manufacturing sector in Ethiopia. Launching a minimum wage forum in Addis Ababa on Wednesday, Sharan Burrow, secretary general of ITUC, said that she has met local workers such as “Yeshi”, a mother of three and a clothing factory machine operator who gets paid only 600 birr (equivalent to USD 20) per month which is nowhere near the “minimum livable wage”.
She said that the likes of “Yeshi”, working people should be paid “minimum livable wage” that according to Barrow is essential for the foundation of any country.
Talking about the current low rate many factory workers are receiving wages in Ethiopia, the secretary general said that it is time to end “exploitation” not only in Ethiopia but the whole of Africa.
“[It is] time to end the exploitation in Africa. There was no dignity for workers in Africa. [There is] no value for labor and the wages don’t reflect real values. Wages don’t reflect collective bargain,” Burrow said.
Organized by the ITUC, ITUC Africa, and the Ethiopian Trade Union Confederation, the two day forum brought together selected eight countries including Ethiopia to mainstream and set up a minimum wage floor in Africa. ITUC has launched a campaign dubbed “100% value, dignity wages in Africa”. It is a campaign that seeks to challenge corporate greed in the continent.