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Clean Clothes Campaign outlines demands on brands & govts. to mitigate effects of COVID-19 crisis on global garment supply chains

Author: Clean Clothes Campaign, Published on: 14 April 2020

"COVID-19 Short Term Demands in defense of Garment Workers in Global Supply Chains", 9 April 2020

...Payment of wages All apparel, textile, footwear, and logistics workers... employed at the onset of the crisis... should be paid... legally mandated wages and benefits, including severance payments and arrears. Emergency relief funds and financial support packages... should be set up with contributions from IFIs, donor governments as well as brands and retailers...

Worker health and safety and public health ... [F]irms... who... resume production... must comply with World Health Organization guidance and... follow other... guidance... to prevent and respond to the spread of COVID-19 at workplaces... Garment workers... should be provided with additional labour protection including childcare facilities or allowances, medical insurance, and hazard pay...

Right to refuse work Workers who stop working given COVID-19 risks must not be excluded from unemployment, severance, or... benefits during the crisis or be penalized with loss of contracts or work when the crisis subsides...

Social protection floors Governments in garment producer countries need to... establish and maintain social protection floors and improve national social security schemes... [and] work with manufacturers to establish transparent cost-sharing...

Return and recovery post-pandemic ... [B]rands and retailers should ensure that suppliers pay workers living wages and social benefits... [and] will need to rethink and change the current pricing model and underlying business model. These changes include order stability... timely payments of orders, and full respect for workers' rights... Responsible exit plans of brands... should be considered temporary and include discussion of return to suppliers once the crisis subsides... Governments that house the headquarters of lead firms should implement effective regulatory reform... regulating unfair commercial and trade practices that lead to human rights abuses in their global supply chains...

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