COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Outbreak: Supply chain workers

Nobland Garment Factory. ©ILO/Alan Dow CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

The world of work is being profoundly affected by the global COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic. In addition to the threat to public health, the economic and social disruption threatens the long-term livelihoods and wellbeing of millions. Particularly vulnerable to the worst impacts of the crisis are the millions of workers lower down the supply chain – often predominantly women and the primary caregivers in their families and communities. These workers, integral to the global economy, are largely part of the hidden workforce of global production and already face poverty wages, dangerous and unsafe working conditions and very few if no social protections. Migrant workers in supply chains also face unique risks, as a result of inadequate and crowded living conditions, harsh containment measures and discrimination.

Reports on how the outbreak is affecting supply chains and disrupting manufacturing operations around the world are increasing daily. Factories across Asia, parts of Europe and Central America are closing or are at risk of closure due to raw materials shortages, reduced orders and public health concerns. This section will feature the latest news on the impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak on supply chain workers, vulnerable to job losses, infection and worsening labour conditions.

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3 June 2020

ITUC: Fourth global Covid-19 survey reveals jobs crisis sweeping across the world as companies lay off workers amidst economic fallout of pandemic

Author: International Trade Union Confederation

“ITUC Global Covid-19 Survey: Support for government action falls as global jobs crisis takes hold”, 03 June 2020...

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3 June 2020

SEDEX releases report on the impacts of COVID-19 on international supply chains, finding garment and construction industries to be worst hit by economic fall-out

Author: SEDEX

“Sedex Insights Report. COVID-19 Impacts on Businesses”, 29 May 2020...

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2 June 2020

Cambodia: PM says 256 factories in apparel sector and 169 companies in tourism sector suspend operations affecting over 146,000 workers due to COVID-19

Author: Xinhua

"Cambodian PM says 256 factories suspended due to COVID-19, affecting over 130,000 workers", 01 June 2020...

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2 June 2020
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Author: Ombudsman canadien de la responsabilité des entreprises

« COVID-19 et diligence raisonnable en matièrede droits de la personne » 1 juin 2020...

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1 June 2020
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Author: Thomson Reuters Foundation (Brazil)

“Auditores do trabalho retomam operações contra escravidão após pausa por coronavírus. Auditores fiscais do trabalho realizaram a primeira operação contra a escravidão no Brasil após um hiato de dois meses provocado pelo surto de coronavírus, e...

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1 June 2020

Bangladesh: Upon launch RMG Sustainability Council urges all reopened factories to keep garment workers safe during pandemic

Author: Ibrahim Hossain, Dhaka Tribune

"RMG Sustainability Council launches to sustain workplace safety", 1 June 2020...

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29 May 2020

Mexico: Maquila companies accused of a range of labour and health rights violations throughout the pandemic; incl. 2 company responses

The Business and Human Rights Resource Centre invited 10 companies from the manufacturing industry with opperations in Mexico to respond to the wide range of labour and health rights violations against workers throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. The...

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27 May 2020
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…Ante la alarmante situación de 46 territorios indígenas que presentan más de 1.101 casos de contagios de Covid-19, en 23 municipios de los departamentos de Beni, Santa Cruz, Tarija, Cochabamba y Chuquisaca, varias organizaciones indígenas, entre ellas...

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27 May 2020

Outreach to companies on relationships with apparel manufacturers & response to the COVID-19 pandemic

Visit our apparel COVID-19 action tracker...

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27 May 2020

USA: Mexican and Central American workers strike against fruit companies for violating their right to health during the pandemic

Workers from companies in the Yakima Valley in Washington, mainly Mexicans and Central Americans, have complained that companies have not taken sufficient measures to ensure their health and safety throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.  The companies...

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