15 June, 2020Over 20,000 workers in Philipines’ textile, garment and leather goods have been laid-off due to the Covid-19 pandemic. In the absence of industry recovery plan, many more workers fear further job losses in the coming three to six months.
On 10 June, the clothing and textile industry tripartite council met to assess the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the textile and garment sector in the Philippines. The massive job displacement, loss of income and reduction of working hours due to lack and cancellation of orders are pressing issues.
According to employers’ organization Confederation of Wearable Exporters of the Philippines, more than 30 percent of employees at their member companies have been retrenched due to factory closures as many contracts and orders have been canceled and financial liquidity is running low.
Unions are demanding that the government and employers come up with immediate and appropriate measures to prevent more job losses and preserve workers’ income. Income support and assistance to the affected workers needs to be extended by the government, especially for those who remain temporary unemployed.
The unions also stress that safety and health protocols need to observed to ensure a safe workplace.
Eva Arcos of Associated Labor Unions says:
“The tripartite social partners need to come up with a coherent and realistic recovery plan for the textile and garment sector. It is a very challenging task ahead of us amid the Covid-19 pandemic, but we cannot afford to keep our workers out of job and the income they need to support their families.
“We need a roadmap for the textile and garment industry, taking into account the impact of Covid-19 on in the sector and with the participation of different the stakeholders. It is important to engage with unions in this process to be able to integrate labor and social rights.”