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Labour groups call on brands to take urgent steps to minimise impact of COVID-19 on garment workers' health & livelihoods

"Brands must urgently take steps to minimise impact of the coronavirus on garment workers' health and livelihoods", 17 March 2020

... Due to COVID-19, many factories... are closing because of a shortage of raw materials from China [and]...  brands continu[ing] to reduce orders... Garment worker... wages barely cover... their basic needs, let alone... emergencies or periods without work... [F]actory closures... are hitting low-paid garment workers hard – especially migrant workers... [F]actories are closing or at risk of closure... in... Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Albania, and Central American countries...

We are calling on brands to publicly commit to proper due diligence with regards to... COVID-19. Specifically... brands must:

  • Ensure... supplier factories follow government requirements or recommendations regarding the suspension of large gatherings and close factories as necessary... while maintaining all workers' contracts and payment of their full regular wages;
  • Ensure that workers... sent home because of a lack of work are compensated at their full regular wage;     
  • Ensure that workers... can take sick leave without negative repercussions and are compensated at their full regular wage...
  • Ensure that, when factories reopen, deadlines for orders are reassessed to prevent... mandatory overtime to make up for delays;
  • Ensure that measures to fight the virus do not unduly restrict workers’ freedom of movement or their freedom to organise...

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