Haitians who do the physically demanding and repetitive work of sewing and assembling clothing in the new industrial park earn the Haitian minimum wage of just 500 gourdes (about $5.25) a day—three times less than the estimated cost of living in Haiti, according to the Solidarity Center.
Through individual case studies and legal analysis, When the Job Hurts demonstrates the need for domestic workers in South Africa to receive the same coverage under the country’s job safety and health compensation law as other workers.
Dave Welsh, country director for labor rights group Solidarity Center, said that historically, migrant workers in Malaysia were initially operating outside “the purview of what were very bad labor laws” which were harshly enforced. Malaysia’s laws, he added, were “very transparent and completely, deliberately almost proudly out of whack with any international labor law norms, and applied vigorously.”
In the works is a radical overhaul of labor laws, which will redefine the lives of more than six million impoverished migrant workers. “The conditions [in Malaysia] are appalling,” said the Solidarity Center’s Dave Welsh. “If even a modicum of what trade unions put forward is enacted into law, this is a huge game changer.”
“Companies also need to do more to ensure workers never pay [recruitment] fees in the first place,” said Neha Misra from the Solidarity Center regarding a rare award reimbursing at least 10,000 Burmese migrants for the excessive and illegal fees they were charged to secure jobs at an electronics manufacturer in Thailand.