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28 Aug 2020

Brett Matthews, Apparel Insider

UK: Brands urged to source only from suppliers that work with unions to prevent garment worker exploitation

"Leicester mayor urges brands to use unionised suppliers", 24 August 2020

The mayor of Leicester, Sir Peter Soulsby, and regional secretary of TUC Midlands, Lee Barron, have written to leading UK fashion retailers, including Boohoo, ASOS, TK Maxx, Missguided, River Island, Next and New Look urging them to only procure from garment manufacturers who recognise and work with trade unions. The mayor and TUC claim many companies cannot “demonstrate that your products were not produced by exploited workers operating in dangerous conditions or worse by victims of modern slavery.”

Soulsby will host a summit with retailers and unions and is encouraging all employers to sign a TUC agreement committing these retailers to procure from manufacturers who recognise and work with trade unions.

The letter says: “This is not a new problem but it has been once again highlighted by recent revelations about minimum wage violations and suggestions that working conditions in the industry may have been a catalyst for the spike in COVID-19 cases in the city...