A living wage is the wage that an artisan in a particular city or region receives for a standard working week. This is sufficient to enable the employee and his/her family to provide a decent standard of living, including nutritious food, utilities, housing, education, health care, transport, clothing and other essential needs, as well as savings for unexpected events.
Together with our producing partner Springfield and the Indian NGO ASK, we have started the living wage project in 2021 to increase minimum wages to a living wage. With Springfield's management, we reviewed their current wages, determined how far away they are from a living wage, and what O My Bag should pay additionally to cover the gap. This additional amount is the so-called O My Bag living wage premium. During an onsite kick-off event, the concept of living wages was explained to all workers. We told them why we as O My Bag want to do this as part of our commitment to decent jobs, and how it will impact their financial situation. The living wage premium has been transferred to Springfield and paid as a bonus to the workers just before the Puja holidays.
In 2022, we included two additional producing partners in the project, meaning that we now pay the O My Bag living wage premium to 3 factories in Kolkata every year. From paying a total living wage premium of €5.058 in 2021, we are now at a total of €21.126 living wage premium paid in 2022. The number of workers that have received the premium increased from 105 to 357. Every year, we assess current wages at our factories, the legal minimum wages and the international living wage benchmarks for India such as the Global Living Wage Coalition and the Asia Floor Wage Alliance. We discuss all this input with the factories' management and decide, together with them, what that year's target living wage and corresponding premium need to be. In 2023 we paid an additional premium of €19.268 to 437 workers at all our 3 partner factories.
Watch the videos below for more information.