原创翻译:龙腾网 http://www.ltaaa.com 翻译:大卫王 转载请注明出处
论坛地址:http://www.ltaaa.com/bbs/thread-485328-1-1.html

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

全国基本生活工资公开。现在来讨论全球基本生活工资



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.

澳大利亚1907年的《收获者意见》将基本生活工资定义为“公平合理”的薪酬,可以让一名非技术工人在合理舒适的条件下养家糊口。

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.

基本生活工资的概念又回到了行政议程上。在美国,民主党提议将最低工资提高一倍。在澳大利亚,联邦工党承诺保障国民基本生活工资。

“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.

反对党领袖Bill Shorten本周表示:“应该了解现在澳大利亚生活的成本——衣、食、住、用、行的费用,以便保障人们的收入可以维持生计。”

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.

基本生活工资的原则是我一月份出版的书的主题。为了写这本书,我花五年时间研究了澳大利亚、保加利亚、柬埔寨、印度和泰国等国家的工作条件。



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,当1919年国际劳工组织成立时,这一原则被载入了《国际劳工法》。它将基本生活工资定义为“符合国家时代标准可以维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.

一个世纪过去了,澳大利亚的劳资关系体系已脱离了基本生活工资的核心前提。在世界各地,要想获得足够的收入来维持生计仍然是一件难以实现的事情。工人们组装了我们的电话,工人们缝制了我们的衣服。我们的生活和这些工人都有着密切的联系。



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,孟加拉国一名服装工人Marium在达卡一栋8层建筑倒塌时失去了她的左臂。据报道,当时有1134名工人死于这场悲剧。

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.

乐施会上月发布的一份报告显示,孟加拉国为Big W、Kmart、Target和Cotton等品牌制作服装的女性每小时的工资仅为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).

根据对孟加拉国和越南470名服装工人的采访得出的报告显示四分之三的越南工人和所有孟加拉国工人的收入低于基本生活工资(由全球生活工资联盟计算)。

Fear of capital flight

害怕资本外逃

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.

世界上很多国家的工人很难争取到更高的工资。今年1月,孟加拉国5000名服装工人因要求加薪举行罢工而被解雇。在抗议期间,警方击毙了一名工人。另有50多人受伤。柬埔寨罢工的服装工人也在抗议活动中被警察击毙。



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

2014年1月3日,柬埔寨服装工人在金边帮助一名在抗议活动中受伤的妇女。

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.

特别是对价格敏感的行业,全球化给政府施加了巨大的压力,要求政府将最低工资维持在较低水平,以免任何加薪导致“资本外逃”。这种状况使各国陷入了不良竞争。

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,如果孟加拉国的劳动力成本上升,该国政府担心服装品牌将生产迁往埃塞俄比亚等国。这是一种合乎情理的恐惧;在我15年的研究中,我见过企业拆除整个服装厂,然后用卡车跨境运往劳动力更便宜的国家。

Cooperation is the answer

合作才是解决办法

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.

显而易见的解决办法是各国进行合作,共同逐步提高最低工资(每年按商定的百分比)。这种方法将有助于克服“先行者风险”。企业在其他地方寻找更廉价劳动力的动力会减少。



Emulating trade law

模仿贸易法

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,有一个国际法领域接近法律:国际贸易和投资法。

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.

从1948年生效的《关税和贸易总协定》开始,在解决降低关税等目标时,各国面临着类似的协调问题。在1994年建立世界贸易组织的协议之前,六项重要的多边贸易协定都是经过谈判达成的。

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,世贸组织对数百起争端进行了裁决。在这些争端中,一个国家指责另一个国家未能履行其对世贸组织的承诺。投资者还可以将政府告上法庭,要求对不公平行为进行赔偿。各国都非常重视这些法庭。

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

为什么不模仿这种国际贸易法的体系结构来提高基本生活工资呢?



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

现在是在全球范围内展开讨论的好时机,而不是就基本生活工资进行单独的全国性对话。