Workers have borne the brunt of the breakdown of the textile and garment supply chain, brought on by the effect of the Covid-19 pandemic on the sector’s unsustainable business model.
Order cancellations have driven wholesale closure of thousands of garment factories, with millions of workers laid off in countries with no social safety net. This has highlighted the precariousness of the sector’s business model and the urgent need to establish sustainable models of supply chain industrial relations.
The recently negotiated International Accord further validates a new supply chain model of industrial relations, one that is cantered around binding rules, holding brands accountable for their impact on workers, rather than voluntary initiatives.
A change is needed in the sector, including an urgent need for social protection for garment workers.
By social protection, we mean protective measures that are part of a worker’s basic rights and that underpin a robust and more equitable workplace. Among others, those measures include:
- unemployment insurance
- sick pay
- social security
- severance pay
The current model, where severance is the only form of social protection, led to wage theft during the pandemic.
Talking Threads podcast
Episode 1 - the women behind the label. Listen to women garment workers about the issues they face on the factory floor, and hear about how IndustriALL’s campaign aims to achieve better social protections for workers in the industry.
In accordance with the Charter of solidarity, IndustriALL is working with affiliated unions in the textile and garment sector to identify brands and retailers that have failed to pay for orders or exercise due diligence in managing their supply chains, resulting in violations of human rights and core labour standards.
Christina Hajagos-Clausen, Director, textile and garment industry
tel. +41 22 308 5070, chajagos