You are being redirected to the story the piece of content is found in so you can read it in context. Please click the following link if you are not automatically redirected within a couple seconds:
Commentary: Rana Plaza factory collapse and fall out of COVID-19 for garment workers highlight the power imbalance & exploitation underlying global garment supply chains
Author: Worker Rights Consortium , Published on: 24 April 2020
“Two crises, one flawed supply chain model: How the imbalance of power in global supply chains harms worker”, 23 April 2020
… [T]he Rana Plaza factory collapse … put a spotlight on the grossly unsafe labor conditions plaguing Bangladesh’s garment sector and catalyzed fundamental reform.
… [I]nternational attention and public outrage … forced brands to agree to sign the … Accord on Building and Fire Safety in Bangladesh … [T]he … Accord has resulted in sweeping improvements in safety conditions…
On the seventh anniversary of the Rana Plaza tragedy, the well-being of millions of garment worker is again at grave risk … [B]rands and retailers have abruptly halted production and canceled orders across their supply chains. Many brands are refusing to pay for apparel that suppliers have already produced … leaving [suppliers] unable to recoup their costs and pay workers.
Brands and retailers’ responses to the pandemic have had a devastating impact on … millions of workers [who] have been suspended or terminated with little or no compensation … [and] risk economic destitution … Informal, home-based, and migrant workers are especially vulnerable …
… [The crises] were both made worse by a flawed supply chain model ... Brands and retailers’ market power allows them to dictate how profits are made and distributed … [resulting in] an ever-smaller share for suppliers. This … has meant unsafe practices, poverty wages, and non-payment of benefits, including compensation due to workers when they lose their jobs.
A glaring example of the inequities … are the terms of payment between buyers and suppliers … [S]uppliers … must cover all the up-front cost of apparel production … Brands don’t pay … until weeks or months after they receive the finished goods. In effect, suppliers with a tiny fraction of the financial resources their customers possess are required to subsidize their customers’ cash flow.
Brands and retailers are now taking advantage of … [this] to protect their own bottom line at suppliers’ expense …
In response to garment union protests … a number of brands and retailers have recently … committed to pay in full for all apparel orders already in production or completed, greatly reducing harm to suppliers and workers …
… [I]t is imperative that buyers honor their obligations ... Beyond the immediate crisis, fundamental reform to address the deep inequities of the existing supply chain model are a prerequisite for the living wages, safe conditions, and basic economic security every worker deserves.