TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras-Honduras apparel workers welcome a new wage agreement that includes a salary increase and improvement in benefits. WWD reports that the deal calls for a 40 percent salary hike, amongst other stipulations.
The news outlet notes that the workers originally asked for a 37 percent wage increase for 2019 and instead received an 8 percent increase and a 7.5 percent average annual wage increase from 2020-2023.
The new agreement asks for provisions like higher overtime pay, improved healthcare, better home ownership options, and food subsidies. WWD says the Honduran government is also providing 1,000 home-purchasing discounts for apparel workers. Additionally, the report says the government pledges to improve other provisions like social security, medicine availability, and broader availability for healthcare specialists.
Central America has long been a massive hub for apparel and textile manufacturing because of its affordable labor, and Honduras makes up a significant portion of this industry. In 2017, the country landed $1.5 billion in investments to boost the nation’s yarn and activewear industries. As part of these investments, a public-private partnership known as Honduras2020 aims to increase annual exports to $7.4 billion and add 200,000 jobs by 2020. The region also stands to potentially benefit from the ongoing trade war between the U.S. and China, and its close proximity to North America.