As explained by this FLA issue brief the never-increased 90s-era monthly minimum wage of 20 lari (around $8.50) for private sector workers in Georgia is grossly insufficient to maintain a decent standard of living in that country. The Clean Clothes Campaign estimates that a living wage for a family of four is nearly 65 times that amount, while the US State Department reports that the average public sector worker earns around 60 times that amount, nearly 1200 lari.
In late August, the Fair Labor Association and four of its company affiliates that are sourcing (or considering sourcing) from Georgia wrote a letter to the Georigan Minister of Labor, expressing strong support for the setting of a fair minimum wage for workers in Georgia’s growing apparel sector. Signatories to the letter included representatives from adidas Group, New Balance, Nike, and Puma.
“We strongly encourage the government to establish a meaningful minimum wage, along with other basic protections for workers, such as effective labor inspections,” the letter stated. “Legal minimum wages should be negotiated in consultation with workers and their trade unions, civil society, employer associations, and suppliers. As a confirmation of its intent, we encourage the government to ratify ILO conventions 26 and 131 concerning the setting of minimum wages.”
The full letter, in English, and Georgian, appears below.