Licensee Compliance with Minimum Wage in Pakistan

To:WRC Affiliate Universities and Colleges
From:Thulsi Narayanasamy and Scott Nova
Date:July 20, 2022
Re:Licensee Compliance with Minimum Wage in Pakistan

We write to share the following information concerning minimum wage increases in Pakistan, which will affect tens of thousands of workers making collegiate apparel:

  • The WRC is sending guidance to licensees on wage compliance in Pakistan, where provincial governments have just raised the minimum wage to 54 cents per hour (from 41 cents per hour in Sindh Province and from 43 cents per hour in Punjab Province).
  • The real income of garment workers in Pakistan has plummeted in recent years due to extreme inflation, including a 26 percent rise in food costs in the last year alone. The wage increases are essential to ensure workers can support their families.
  • To maintain compliance with university standards, licensees must ensure their suppliers implement the increases and pay any arrears owed to workers.
  • Because factory owners strongly opposed the higher minimum wage, precipitating a year-long legal battle just now resolved, we see substantial risk of noncompliance, including possible nonpayment of a smaller, interim increase in the Sindh minimum wage that went into effect in June of 2021.
  • The WRC will be asking licensees for confirmation that workers at their Pakistan supplier factories are being paid in accordance with the law, including full payment of back wages, if applicable.
  • There are 103 factories in Pakistan making collegiate goods. They produce for 61 licensees and employ more than 50,000 workers.

We will share our communication to licensees with you as soon as it is issued, and we will keep you posted as developments warrant.

As always, please let us know if you have any questions or would like additional information.