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en/csos-call-on-govts-brands-suppliers-to-urgently-mitigate-health-economic-impacts-on-60-million-garment-workers-bearing-brunt-of-covid-19-crisis#c205516

60 million garment workers bear brunt of COVID-19 crisis; AFWA demands govt's, apparel brands & suppliers take urgent action

Author: Asia Floor Wage Alliance, Published on: 24 March 2020

"AFWA Statement on Garment Workers' Demands in the face of COVID-19 Crisis", 23 March 2020

... [G]arment workers in global supply chains getting exposed to greater and more profound risks, bearing the brunt of this crisis. Apparel brands are seen cancelling or postponing orders and deferring payments to suppliers... This has forced many suppliers to lay off or suspend workers in garment factories, without any social protection, or paid leave, pushing an already precarious group of workers to greater economic vulnerabilities... [Other] workers are still forced to continue work in factories... [without] adequate precautions... at risk of infection...

There needs to be concrete steps from governments, brands and suppliers to address these large income losses for the 60 million (1) garment workers. Without this, there is a severe risk of a vicious downward cycle of demand shocks, which could lead to a prolonged economic recession...

Governments in garment-producing countries should... Ensure strict and compulsory implementation of measures to protect workers in the workplace... Provide universal healthcare access to both workers and their families, and... set up coronavirus testing facility and temporary hospitals in all industrial zones... [and] implement... social protection measures... for all categories of workers... negatively impacted by the... effects of COVID-19...

[T]he apparel brands and their suppliers who have been profiting from the labour of garment workers [must]...  prevent workplace exposures to COVID-19... support... workers employment and income [and]... create a COVID-19 Workers’ Fund to financially support workers...

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