Coronavirus: NGOs call for ‘urgent action’ to protect textile workers

Bangladesh factory workers

Non-governmental organisations from around the world have called on international governments and fashion brands to do more to protect textile workers struggling with unsafe working conditions or lost jobs due to coronavirus.

A coalition of 10 representative bodies has called for “urgent action” to protect the “health and livelihoods of millions of garment workers and their families” faced with the prospect of unsafe working environments or losing their jobs as the coronavirus pandemic continues to ravage economies.

In a statement, signed by the Ethical Trading Initiative UK, the Partnership for Sustainable Textiles and others, the groups called on governments in textile-producing countries to “ensure on-time payment of salaries to workers who remain actively employed” and offer relief funds for those who have been laid off after fashion brands cancelled orders.

The groups have also called on factories that are still operating to implement safety measures to limit the spread of infection, to avoid cancelling planned orders and introduce “flexibility in factories to change delivery dates and or payment terms” for orders.

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