A frequent objection to thanking garment workers with gratuities to provide extra income has to do with how it impacts the responsibilities of other stakeholders in the Ready-Made Garment (RMG) industry supply chain. Besides inadequate compensation, the RMG industry faces lots of issues that require the concerted actions of all participants to resolve. Among these are the safety of workers and infrastructure, abuse, discrimination, child labor, forced overtime, short-term contracting, lack of unionization rights, excessive garment waste, and environmental degradation, to name a few.
Giving consumers the option to pay a gratuity is not designed to provide a solution to the wage problem, much less the rest of the RMG industry’s challenges. It does not exonerate brands, intermediaries, governments or suppliers from their responsibility to resolve those issues. Pressure must be brought to bear on stakeholders to raise and enforce national minimum wages and provide a living wage to all garment workers. We support all organizations and initiatives working to achieve these ends.
Payment of gratuities cannot and should not be relied upon to provide the systematic improvements necessary to attain adequate living wages. By nature, it can never do this. No one can predict with any certainty when or how much gratuity any given production order will generate. Disbursement is also unpredictable. It will depend upon applicable headcount of beneficiary workers associated with the garment’s work order and the respective wage rates at that location. It is triggered automatically through smart contracts upon meeting set threshold requirements.
This randomness factor may seem odd and problematic. But the inherent unpredictability involved in receiving gratuities constitutes the very beauty of this concept. tip4good cannot be gamed. Brands cannot shirk their responsibility to improve wages. Factories cannot garnish wages to account for expected gratuities. Governments cannot use it as an excuse to avoid improving and enforcing minimum wages. No one, not even us, can predict amounts or timing of payout. In our case randomness is a blessing. And, strictly speaking, tip4good only delivers gratitude. It cannot impact wages.
Tip4good only seeks to give workers additional income and provide consumers with a direct connection to express their gratitude—with unbeatable reach right on millions of garments.
Let’s try tip4good!
tip4good is a startup in disruptive innovation combining new mobile payments technology and generosity to permit consumers to thank the factory workers who made their garment by paying them a gratuity. Please help us continue to grow! Just join our leads list to support our pilot program: www.tip4good.org
Humanity deserves the opportunity to make this work.