Global unions have joined forces to discuss solutions to what they claim is the "race to the bottom" on wages for apparel workers in global supply chains.

The union federations representing workers making and selling clothing gathered in Hong Kong this week as part of a meeting hosted by the Asia Floor Wage Alliance. Unions including the ITUC, IndustriAll, UNI, IUF, ITF, as well as the International Labour Organization (ILO) discussed pay, excessive hours, living conditions, wage theft and poor health faced by garment workers and their families. They also jointly planned strategies for change.

This summit comes in the face of what the the Asia Floor Wage Alliance describes as a wage crisis in the industry. While minimum wages have stayed very low in most Asian garment producing countries for over a decade, the cost of living has soared. The group estimates that minimum wages in countries like Bangladesh and Sri Lanka are a fifth of the value of a living wage.

Anannya Bhattacharjee coordinator of the Asia Floor Wage Alliance said: "The globalised economy has taken power from the hands of country governments and put it into the hands of boards of directors who neither know nor care about the living conditions of the people who produce their products. Here in a city struggling for democracy, we are calling for the workers, not global finance, to have their say in reversing the race to the bottom on wages. Solutions have to come from stronger international alliances across supply chains."

The summit is the culmination of a series of semi-legal hearings that have gathered evidence of in-work poverty and its causes across Asian garment producing countries since 2011.