Title: Towards a Global WageIndicator
Duration: February 2005 - February 2009.
Funded by: FNV Mondiaal - VMP fonds
Status: closed
Project manager: Paulien Osse

If ever a project name expressed a wish and promise, it is Global.... Under this label the development assistance programme of the Dutch trade union confederation FNV funds the first extension of the wage indicator project to Africa, Asia and Latin America, starting in South Africa, India, South Korea and, Brazil. And from February 2006 in Argentina and Mexico.

In 2009 they should be a going concern, bringing in masses of data. Hopefully from both the formal and the informal sectors of those huge, fast developing economies.

Project goals
The Global Wage Indicator project aims to increase the transparency of the labour market in developing countries, and to give trade unions in these countries more insight into the way wages, terms of employment, working conditions are structured across occupations, companies, industries, regions and countries.

This empowerment of both individual employees and the trade union movement is achieved by introducing the Wage Indicator online questionnaire research system.

Project approach
'Global' widens the European scope to encompass countries in Latin America, Africa and Asia, in Brazil, South Africa and India for a start.
In the first 2 countries a trade union liaised research institute, specialized in the labour market, takes the lead and guarantees the involvement of the national trade union movement.
In India the it-professionals forum takes the lead in the national project, in coalition with a group of research institutes from different regions and some other partners.
This group is backed by the global union UNI, which acts in the interest of its affiliates in the developing world.
These national counterparts adapt the Wage Indicator research system to their national labour markets. They manage, update, promote and further develop the website(s).
They collaborate with and are supported by the Dutch researchers and the support team of the Wage Indicator Foundation.

Overall lack of wage data
Presently, it is not easy to lay hands on even basic wage figures. Individual employees are generally dependent on labour market information gathered in their local community or peer group.
To compare with wages earned in companies hundreds or even thousands of miles away is almost impossible.
For trade unions, data on wages is needed for their input in wage negotiations.
Finally, the international comparability of data on wages and employment practices has become an important concern, because of the trend towards globalisation.

In particular the wage and employment practices of multinational enterprises across the globe are more and more scrutinised.
Therefore a section on those enterprises will be included in the questionnaire.

Expected results
These data will allow for salary checks on the Wage Indicator websites for over hundred occupations. In addition it will allow for detailed reports on wage differentials across gender, ethnicity and age groups, across regions and nations, across occupations and industries, within multinational enterprises and for foreign versus local establishments in national economies.
The internet will be used for wide dispersion of the results of these studies, to individuals, trade unions, the research community and international organisations such as the ILO.

Academic backing
The Wage Indicator Foundation in this project is backed by two universities: the Amsterdam Institute of Advanced Labour Studies of the University of Amsterdam (AIAS/UvA), that ensures the scientific methodology and the questionnaire, and the SCOPE team of the Erasmus University of Rotterdam/Rotterdam School of Management (EUR/RSM) for the section on multinational enterprises. (ppt)

Global wage Indicator Proposal for extension to India, Brazil, South Korea, South Africa. Download.

Global WageIndicator in Argentina and Mexico. Download.