ASEAN Fights for +50

South-East Asia has experienced massive economic development in the past decades, however it is clear that economic growth has not been shared equitably among the region’s people. Rather, it has mostly benefitted those who are already well-off.

It is unacceptable that many workers in the region continue to earn poverty wages and work under conditions of extreme exploitation. Minimum wages, in particular, remain dismally low compared to the cost of living in most countries. At the same time, the possibility for workers to organise and collectively bargain for fair wages is also being compromised in many countries in the region as trade union rights are under attack.

With the ASEAN Fights for +50 campaign, trade unions across the region are calling on governments to set minimum wage floors that allow workers in South-East Asia and their families to live in dignity, and which will support sustainable, inclusive economic development. When ASEAN governments support and promote minimum wage increases across the region, downward competition on the basis of low wages and poor working conditions can cease. A joint commitment to increase minimum wages by 50 USD, in order to support workers and their families live with dignity, would be a start. Unions moreover call on ASEAN to promote regional coordination on minimum wages.