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16 Sep 2019

Japan Today

Fast Retailing partners with ILO to improve worker environments in Asia

"Uniqlo operator ties up with ILO to improve Asia worker environments", 5 September 2019

Fast Retailing Co...is partnering with the International Labor Organization to improve worker environments in Asia, in its latest push to ensure labor protection in countries where social security systems are underdeveloped.

The operator of Uniqlo casual clothing stores will provide $1.8 million in funding over a two-year period through 2021 for ILO research on the labor markets and social security systems in Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Myanmar and Vietnam, countries where the Japanese company has production bases.

...Under the partnership, Fast Retailing and ILO will also help promote employment insurance in Indonesia, where garment workers are at high risk of their losing jobs due to rapid changes in the industry...

...PT Jaba Garmindo, a former Uniqlo supplier factory in Indonesia, went bankrupt in April 2015, prompting international NGOs to lobby Uniqlo to financially compensate former employees of the factory.

Fast Retailing said it has no legal obligation to compensate them but said in January this year it will make efforts to facilitate re-employment of the former workers who remain unemployed.

..."Through the ILO partnership, we hope to expand our impact and find solutions to issues faced by all workers in Asia -- not just those in our supply chain -- through systemic social protection measures and improved working environments across the region," [Tadashi] Yanai [, chairman and CEO of Fast Retailing,] said in a statement.