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New Living Wage Benchmarks for Dhaka 
and Surrounding Cities

SAI together with the Global Living Wage Coalition has published a Living Wage Report with benchmarks for Dhaka and surrounding satellite cities in Bangladesh. The report focuses on areas with a large number of garment factories. It is the result of extensive field research and stakeholder consultations by the team of Richard and Martha Anker and researchers at the Centre for Operations Research and Training. 

"Our hope is that these benchmarks will accelerate progress towards practical implementation of living wages," says SAI's CEO Jane Hwang. "We recognize that a wide range of strategies are necessary to work towards the goal of improving wages, with the collaboration of governments, unions and worker representatives, producers, buyers, brands and retailers and other stakeholders. We acknowledge that it may not always be possible to pay a living wage overnight, but we can and must take progressive steps," she adds. 

Living wage entails that workers and their families should make enough money by working a normal work week to provide for a decent basic lifestyle. The living wage estimates in the report will contribute to a long-term process of helping Bangladeshi workers, across all sectors, escape the cycle of poverty.

Living wage has always been a fundamental element in SAI's SA8000® Standard for decent work. While the newly launched benchmarks are not yet a requirement for certification, SAI will complete a gap analysis of current living wage calculations and the new benchmarks and will provide specific guidance on how to apply the benchmarks for certification.

Report (pdf)

To learn more about SAI's work with the Global Living Wage Coalition, click here or contact Rohini Barreto (

September 2016