Transfer stimulates dialogue between the European trade union movement and the academic and research community. It contributes research findings on issues of strategic relevance for trade unions, in particular with regard to developments at the European level. Transferpublishes original peer-reviewed research on issues such as new developments in industrial relations, social policy, and labour market developments.
Volume 25 Issue 3, August 2019
The Conference recognizes the solemn obligation of the International Labour Organisation to further among the nations of the world programmes which will achieve…policies in regard to wages and earnings, hours and other conditions of work calculated to ensure a just share of the fruits of progress to all, and a minimum living wage to all employed and in need of such protection.
Although the above call for a minimum living wage was made more than 70 years ago, it has lost nothing of its relevance and urgency. It also illustrates that, historically, the two concepts of minimum and living wages have often been used synonymously. It is only more recently, under the hegemony of neoliberalism, that the two concepts have diverged. Minimum wages are increasingly understood as a basic wage floor, whereas living wages refer to pay that is above the subsistence level and enables workers and their families to sustain a decent living standard and to participate in social and cultural life.