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USA: 30 CSOs call on brands & garment manufacturers to implement essential worker health protection & workers’ rights measures during COVID-19 crisis, in joint letter

Author: Garment Worker Center, International Labor Rights Forum & others, Published on: 8 April 2020

"Covid-19 Related Worker Protections Needed for Garment/PPE Production in US", 3 April 2020

In a joint letter together with 28 other organizations, the International Labor Rights Forum and the Garment Worker Center in Los Angeles... shared recommendations on worker health protection and workers’ rights measures for brands/manufacturers producing or sourcing apparel, textiles, and/or PPE from factories in the United States. The letter was shared with dozens of garment manufacturers and fashion brands...

The recommendations include the CDC’s Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers to Plan and Respond to Coronavirus Disease... and additional standards such as:

  • paid breaks for hand-washing
  • paid training on all Covid-related safeguards
  • paid sick leave for the duration of Covid-19 related illness, and at least 14 days of paid leave going forward
  • unemployment benefits or other forms of income replacement that include workers irrespective of immigration or independent contractor status, or their employer's failure to register them as employees.

... [It] also calls on companies that are reducing orders from factories, or that have been required to close operations... to pay in full on orders for which material has been purchased or production has already begun; to ensure unemployment benefits reach all their workers affected by job loss; and to ensure that when factories reopen that first-hire priority is given to laid-off workers to their previous posts and deadlines for orders are reassessed to prevent workers from working mandatory overtime.

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