Leading US apparel companies sourcing from Peru have urged the government to demonstrate its support for decent work by supporting the repeal of legislation allowing suppliers to employ workers on short-term contracts.
In a letter to President Ollanta Humala Tasso, six signatory brands have expressed concern that Decree 22342 governing ‘non-traditional exports’ acts to encourage and condone violations of labour rights and therefore poses an obstacle to the proper application of their codes of conduct.
The letter send on 4 March is signed by 47 brands, The Life is Good Company, New Balance, Nike, PVH Corp (which owns Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, Van Heusen, Izod, Arrow, GH Bass & Co) and VF Corporation (whose twenty-five brands include North Face, Vans, Nautica, 7 For All Mankind, JanSport, Ella Moss, Timberland, Wrangler, Lee, Kipling and Eastpak). The US represents Peru’s main destination for apparel exports.
The letter comes just 2 weeks before the reconvening of the Peruvian Congress. A proposal to repeal the labour provisions of the decree on non-traditional exports is making its way through the committee stage but is strongly opposed by textile and apparel manufacturers.
Commenting on the letter, Jyrki Raina, General Secretary of IndustriALL Global Union, says, “We very much welcome this letter, which sends a clear message that in today’s global garment industry decent work is an element of competitiveness alongside quality, price and delivery on time.
“Peru produces quality cotton and fibers and has succeeded in positioning itself as a provider for major brands. However, the ‘made in Peru’ label is being tainted by the abuse that comes with the use of short-term employment contract,” concludes Raina.