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COVID-19: Supply Chain Workers

Impacts on supply chain workers, vulnerable to job losses, infection and worsening labour conditions.

The world of work is being profoundly affected by the global COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic. In addition to the threat to public health, the economic and social disruption threatens the long-term livelihoods and wellbeing of millions. Particularly vulnerable to the worst impacts of the crisis are the millions of workers lower down the supply chain – often predominantly women and the primary caregivers in their families and communities. These workers, integral to the global economy, are largely part of the hidden workforce of global production and already face poverty wages, dangerous and unsafe working conditions and very few if no social protections. Migrant workers in supply chains also face unique risks, as a result of inadequate and crowded living conditions, harsh containment measures and discrimination. This includes workers in supply chains across sectors, for example in the electronics sector and the food and beverage sector.

Reports on how the outbreak is affecting supply chains and disrupting manufacturing operations around the world are increasing daily. Factories across Asia, parts of Europe and Central America are closing or are at risk of closure due to raw materials shortages, reduced orders and public health concerns. This section will feature the latest news on the impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak on supply chain workers, vulnerable to job losses, infection and worsening labour conditions.

Featured contents

Millions of garment workers face destitution as fashion brands cancel orders

The actions of brands which choose to pass the financial burden of Covid-19 to the workers at the bottom of their supply chain will not be forgotten, write Phil Bloomer and Alysha Khambay

Live-blog: How the Coronavirus affects garment workers in supply chains

Daily information from the Clean Clothes Campaign global network about how COVID-19 is influencing garment workers' rights in supply chains around the world.

Force majeure clauses and garment supply chains

By triggering force majeure clauses to halt payments to suppliers with vulnerable workers, companies risk losing their social license to operate, write Anna Triponel and John Sherman