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論壇地址:http://www.ciqjm.icu/bbs/thread-485328-1-1.html

A nationalliving wage is on the table. Now let’s talk about a global living wage

全國基本生活工資公開。現在來討論全球基本生活工資



Australia’s HarvesterJudgement of 1907 defined a living wage as ‘fair and reasonable’ paymentsufficient for an unskilled worker to support a family in reasonable comfort.

澳大利亞1907年的《收獲者意見》將基本生活工資定義為“公平合理”的薪酬,可以讓一名非技術工人在合理舒適的條件下養家糊口。

Theidea of the living wage is back on the political agenda. In the United Statesthe Democrats are proposing to double the federal minimum wage. In Australiathe federal Labor Party has promised to deliver a living wage.

基本生活工資的概念又回到了行政議程上。在美國,民主黨提議將最低工資提高一倍。在澳大利亞,聯邦工黨承諾保障國民基本生活工資。

“A living wage should make sure people earn enough tomake ends meet, and be informed by what it costs to live in Australia today –to pay for housing, for food, for utilities, to pay for a basic phone and dataplan,” Opposition leader Bill Shorten said this week.

反對黨領袖Bill Shorten本周表示:“應該了解現在澳大利亞生活的成本——衣、食、住、用、行的費用,以便保障人們的收入可以維持生計。”

Theprinciple of the living wage is the subject of my book published in January. Towrite the book I spent five years researching working conditions in countriesincluding Australia, Bulgaria, Cambodia, India and Thailand.

基本生活工資的原則是我一月份出版的書的主題。為了寫這本書,我花五年時間研究了澳大利亞、保加利亞、柬埔寨、印度和泰國等國家的工作條件。



Twelveyears later the principle was enshrined in international labour law, when theInternational Labour Organisation was established in 1919. It defined a livingwage as one “adequate to maintain a reasonable standard of life as this isunderstood in their time and country”.

12年后,當1919年國際勞工組織成立時,這一原則被載入了《國際勞工法》。它將基本生活工資定義為“符合國家時代標準可以維持合理的基本生活水平”。

Acentury on, Australia’s industrial relations system has long abandoned thecentral premise of the living wage. Around the world being paid enough to liveon remains elusive. We are all intimately connected to many of these workers.They have assembled the phones we handle. They have sewn our clothes.

一個世紀過去了,澳大利亞的勞資關系體系已脫離了基本生活工資的核心前提。在世界各地,要想獲得足夠的收入來維持生計仍然是一件難以實現的事情。工人們組裝了我們的電話,工人們縫制了我們的衣服。我們的生活和這些工人都有著密切的聯系。



Bangladeshi garmentworker Marium lost her left arm when an eight-storey building in Dhakacollapsed in April 2012. A reported 1,134 workers died in the tragedy.

2012年4月,孟加拉國一名服裝工人Marium在達卡一棟8層建筑倒塌時失去了她的左臂。據報道,當時有1134名工人死于這場悲劇。

Womenin Bangladesh who make clothes for brands such as Big W, Kmart, Target andCotton On earn as little as 51 cents an hour, according to an Oxfam reportpublished last month.

樂施會上月發布的一份報告顯示,孟加拉國為Big W、Kmart、Target和Cotton等品牌制作服裝的女性每小時的工資僅為51美分。

Thereport is based on interview with 470 garment workers in Bangladesh andVietnam. Three-quarters of the Vietnam workers and all of the Bangladeshiworkers earned less than a living wage (as calculated by the Global Living WageCoalition).

根據對孟加拉國和越南470名服裝工人的采訪得出的報告顯示四分之三的越南工人和所有孟加拉國工人的收入低于基本生活工資(由全球生活工資聯盟計算)。

Fear of capital flight

害怕資本外逃

Itis very hard for workers to mobilise for higher wages in many countries aroundthe world. In January 5,000 garment workers in Bangladesh were sacked after going on strike for higher wages.During protests, police shot dead one worker. More than 50 others were injured.Striking garment workers in Cambodia have also been shot dead by police duringprotests.

世界上很多國家的工人很難爭取到更高的工資。今年1月,孟加拉國5000名服裝工人因要求加薪舉行罷工而被解雇。在抗議期間,警方擊斃了一名工人。另有50多人受傷。柬埔寨罷工的服裝工人也在抗議活動中被警察擊斃。



Cambodian garmentworkers assist a woman injured during a protest in Phnom Penh on January 3,2014.

2014年1月3日,柬埔寨服裝工人在金邊幫助一名在抗議活動中受傷的婦女。

Especiallyin price-sensitive industries, globalisation exerts strong pressure ongovernments to keep minimum wages low, lest any increase lead to “capitalflight”. This competition pits countries in a race to the bottom.

特別是對價格敏感的行業,全球化給政府施加了巨大的壓力,要求政府將最低工資維持在較低水平,以免任何加薪導致“資本外逃”。這種狀況使各國陷入了不良競爭。

Shouldlabour costs go up in Bangladesh, for example, its government fears garmentbrands moving production to, say, Ethiopia. It’s a legitimate fear; in my 15years of research I’ve seen whole garment factories dismantled and truckedacross borders to countries where the labour is cheaper.

例如,如果孟加拉國的勞動力成本上升,該國政府擔心服裝品牌將生產遷往埃塞俄比亞等國。這是一種合乎情理的恐懼;在我15年的研究中,我見過企業拆除整個服裝廠,然后用卡車跨境運往勞動力更便宜的國家。

Cooperation is the answer

合作才是解決辦法

Theobvious solution would be for countries to cooperate and raise minimum wagescollectively and incrementally (at an agreed percentage every year). Thisapproach would help overcome “first mover risk”. Business would have lessincentive to look for cheaper labour elsewhere.

顯而易見的解決辦法是各國進行合作,共同逐步提高最低工資(每年按商定的百分比)。這種方法將有助于克服“先行者風險”。企業在其他地方尋找更廉價勞動力的動力會減少。



Emulating trade law

模仿貿易法

However,there is one area of international law that comes close to what we usuallythink of as law: international trade and investment law.

然而,有一個國際法領域接近法律:國際貿易和投資法。

Inaddressing goals like reducing tariffs, countries faced similar coordinationproblems. Beginning with the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, which cameinto effect in 1948, half a dozen major multilateral trade deals werenegotiated before the agreement in 1994 to establish the World TradeOrganisation.

從1948年生效的《關稅和貿易總協定》開始,在解決降低關稅等目標時,各國面臨著類似的協調問題。在1994年建立世界貿易組織的協議之前,六項重要的多邊貿易協定都是經過談判達成的。

TheWTO has since adjudicated hundreds of disputes in which one nation has accusedanother of failing to meet its WTO commitments. Investors can also take statesto tribunals to seek compensation for unfair behaviour. States take thesetribunals very seriously.

此后,世貿組織對數百起爭端進行了裁決。在這些爭端中,一個國家指責另一個國家未能履行其對世貿組織的承諾。投資者還可以將政府告上法庭,要求對不公平行為進行賠償。各國都非常重視這些法庭。

Whynot emulate this architecture of international trade law for living wages?

為什么不模仿這種國際貿易法的體系結構來提高基本生活工資呢?



Insteadof having separate national conversations about living wages, now is a goodtime to start the conversation at a global scale.

現在是在全球范圍內展開討論的好時機,而不是就基本生活工資進行單獨的全國性對話。