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Workers Rights & Ethics

  • Thursday, 23 June 2022

    Garment workers win 'historic' wage victory

    KARACHI - Garment workers in Pakistan's textiles hub of Sindh province have won what campaigners declared to be a "historic" 40 per cent hike in the minimum wage. The Sindh Minimum Wage Board's decision to increase unskilled workers minimum pay -…
  • Thursday, 23 June 2022

    ILO change will 'benefit garment workers'

    GENEVA - The International Labour Organization's (ILO) decision to extend its 'Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work' to include a safe working environment will make a real difference to the world's garment workers, according to the Ethical…
  • Wednesday, 22 June 2022

    Pilot to protect garment workers in Bangladesh

    DHAKA - Garment workers in Bangladesh are to receive enhanced social security protection in the event of injuries at work following the launch of a new pilot scheme backed by the International Labour Organization (ILO). The ILO and German…
  • Tuesday, 21 June 2022

    Columbia supplier accused of worker violations Premium Article

    KUPPAM - Garment workers at a factory in India which exclusively supplies US brand Columbia Sportswear are paid illegally low wages and subjected to verbal use and sexual harassment, according to a new report. Asia Floor Wage Alliance (AFWA)…
  • Monday, 20 June 2022

    Garment worker study attracts £1.3m funding

    NOTTINGHAM - An academic at the University of Nottingham has been awarded almost £1.3 million (US$1.6m) to investigate the threats posed to female garment workers in global apparel supply chains. Dr Sabina Lawreniuk's four-year research project is…
  • Thursday, 16 June 2022

    Turkish garment workers 'earn poverty pay' Premium Article

    ISTANBUL - Turkish workers making garments for global brands - including Adidas, C&A, Hugo Boss, H&M, Zara owner Inditex, Levi’s, Marks & Spencer, Next, Nike and Primark - are earning only a quarter of the living wage, according to campaigners. The…
  • Friday, 10 June 2022

    Project recycles plastic waste into buttons Premium Article

    BENGALURU - A partnership funded by the H&M Foundation claims to have improved the lives of 20,000 waste pickers in India while recycling discarded plastic into millions of new buttons for the fashion industry. Saamuhika Shakti was launched two…
  • Wednesday, 08 June 2022

    New US$250M fund launched to tackle fashion emissions Premium Article

    SAN FRANCISCO – Not for profit organisation, the Apparel Impact Institute (Aii), has announced the lead funders in a new US$250M ‘Fashion Climate Fund’. The backers include: Lululemon, H&M Group, H&M Foundation, and The Schmidt Family…
  • Wednesday, 08 June 2022

    Shein launches charitable fund to aid Or Foundation Premium Article

    ACCRA – U.S./Ghana-based not-for-profit charity, The Or Foundation, and online retailer, SHEIN, have announced a multi-year agreement which will see the launch of Shein's Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) Fund. The ERP Fund will help advance…
  • Monday, 06 June 2022

    BGMEA courts Germany with sustainability commitment Premium Article

    BERLIN - The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) has reiterated its commitment to enhance safety and promote its members’ ethical approach to apparel sourcing as it seeks to cement supply chain cooperation with Germany.
  • Wednesday, 01 June 2022

    New phase in microfibre shedding action announced Premium Article

    AMSTERDAM - The ZDHC Foundation (ZDHC) and The Microfibre Consortium (TMC) have unveiled details of the next stage of a major initiative to address the issue of microfibres in textile manufacturing wastewater. Following the release of ‘Control of…
  • Tuesday, 31 May 2022

    Sri Lankan garment workers 'turn to sex work' Premium Article

    COLOMBO - Former garment makers in Sri Lanka are reportedly turning to prostitution to feed their families as the country's economic crisis continues to devastate the once booming industry. Sri Lanka's Joint Apparel Association Forum trade body this…
  • Friday, 27 May 2022

    Brands 'should be liable for garment workers' Premium Article

    DAVOS - Brands should be held legally liable for workers’ rights violations in global garment supply chains, according to a joint statement from the Asia Floor Wage Alliance (AFWA) and Focus on Global South initiatives to the World Economic Forum.…
  • Thursday, 26 May 2022

    Victoria's Secret financed 'historic' pay-out Premium Article

    BANGKOK - Lingerie brand Victoria's Secret has confirmed that it arranged the finance which enabled a US$8.3 million payment to 1,388 former garment workers resolving a long-running dispute in Thailand. Owners of the Brilliant Alliance Thai Global…
  • Wednesday, 25 May 2022

    Long-running garment worker dispute settled Premium Article

    BANGKOK – A dispute in which 1,388 garment workers claimed they were illegally laid off without compensation following the closure of a lingerie factory, which supplied brands including Victoria’s Secret, Torrid and Lane Bryant, has been resolved…
  • Monday, 23 May 2022

    Bid to improve protection for garment workers Premium Article

    PHNOM PENH - A new initiative has been launched by Oxfam and the Laudes Foundation in partnership with NGOs and trade unions to improve social protection for garment workers in Cambodia. Entitled 'Inclusive National Social Protection Initiatives…
  • Thursday, 19 May 2022

    Vietnam launches COVID migrant worker study Premium Article

    HO CHI MINH CITY - A new seven-month study has been launched into the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on migrant workers in apparel and footwear factories in Vietnam. The reluctance of migrant workers to return to work following coronavirus…
  • Wednesday, 18 May 2022

    Factory safety programme launches in Cambodia Premium Article

    PHNOM PENH - A programme launched in 2019 to improve garment worker safety in Vietnam and India - with support from brands such as Bestseller, Gap, Target, VF Corp and Walmart - is expanding to Cambodia. The Life and Building Safety (LABS)…
  • Tuesday, 17 May 2022

    Call for global fund for garment workers Premium Article

    ITHACA - A global severance fund paid for, in part, by brands should be established to protect garment workers in supply chain countries which often lack adequate social protection systems, according to a new study. Researchers at Cornell…
  • Monday, 16 May 2022

    Industry reacts to proposed US FABRIC Act Premium Article

    WASHINGTON DC - The US fashion industry has cautiously welcomed a new bill which aims to protect the wages of garment workers by outlawing piece-rate pay and also encourage the fashion industry to move production back to the country. The Fashion…
  • Friday, 13 May 2022

    ETI issues warning to brands on Myanmar Premium Article

    YANGON - The Ethical Trading Institute (ETI) is urging western companies to stop investing in Myanmar and to consider pulling out of the country because of the deteriorating situation for workers following the coup. ETI previously urged brands and…
  • Thursday, 12 May 2022

    Bid to train garment workers in digital skills Premium Article

    DHAKA - The UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) has launched a new project to help 135,000 garment workers in Bangladesh - mostly women - to build financial and digital literacy skills. UNCDF has partnered with wage access platform Wagely, digital…
  • Tuesday, 26 April 2022

    Garment worker abuse 'increased in pandemic' Premium Article

    INDIA - Women garment workers at factories in India which supply major brands and retailers have been subjected to widespread gender-based violence and harassment (GBVH) during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new study. Entitled 'Unbearable…
  • Monday, 25 April 2022

    More brands urged to back International Accord Premium Article

    DHAKA - The UNI Global Union has marked the ninth anniversary of the Rana Plaza disaster by calling on more brands to sign the International Accord for Health and Safety in the Garment and Textile Industry. It named US companies Walmart, Disney and…
  • Friday, 22 April 2022

    China ratifies ILO treaties on forced labour Premium Article

    BEIJING - China has ratified two International Labour Organization (ILO) treaties on forced labour despite ongoing allegations about the widespread use of forced labour in the Xinjiang region's cotton industry. The National People’s Congress…
  • Thursday, 21 April 2022

    Brands urged to help threatened garment workers Premium Article

    KOGGALA - Trade unions and workers' rights campaigners are urging brands to help 1,500 garment workers at two closure-threatened factories owned by the apparel manufacturing giant Esquel in Sri Lanka. The Free Trade Zones and General Service…
  • Wednesday, 20 April 2022

    Sri Lankan firm bites back over report allegations Premium Article

    COLOMBO – A new report has accused Sri Lanka’s largest garment manufacturer, Brandix Lanka, of breaching COVID-19 guidelines in the run up to what was a deemed a ‘superspreader’ event in October 2020, and subsequently cracking down on unions that…
  • Tuesday, 19 April 2022

    Workers plead with brands over severance pay Premium Article

    JAKARTA – Former employees at an Indonesian garment factory which closed in 2015 have written to the bosses of fashion brands Uniqlo and s.Oliver pleading for US$5.5 million in severance pay. The two brands are said to have abruptly pulled orders…
  • Wednesday, 13 April 2022

    Lycra Company buoyed by Higg FSLM score Premium Article

    WILMINGTON – Textile fibre manufacturer the Lycra Company has announced that its manufacturing site in Maydown, Northern Ireland, has completed technology company Higg’s Facility Social and Labour Module (FSLM) with a score of 83. That places…
  • Monday, 11 April 2022

    Boohoo opens its own factory in Leicester Premium Article

    LEICESTER - Fast fashion giant Boohoo, which was caught in controversy over the treatment of garment workers in its supply chain factories in Leicester, has officially opened its own manufacturing facility in the city. The company says the…
  • Wednesday, 06 April 2022

    Rights deal in Myanmar 'could be blueprint' Premium Article

    YANGON - A pioneering agreement to protect freedom of association for garment workers in Myanmar - which was halted because of the coup - could become the blueprint for other garment manufacturing countries, according to a new report. The Danish…
  • Friday, 01 April 2022

    H&M agreement to address factory harassment Premium Article

    TAMIL NADU – Fashion giant H&M Group has signed a legally-binding agreement with one of India’s largest garment suppliers to put an end to sexual violence and harassment against women, following the death of a 20-year-old worker last year. The terms…
  • Friday, 01 April 2022

    Vietnam accused of 'laundering' Xinjiang cotton Premium Article

    SAIGON - A coalition of campaigners has accused Vietnam of "laundering" cotton from Xinjiang to help China bypass the US's new Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act. The US legislation, which bans most imports from China's Xinjiang region on the…
  • Friday, 25 March 2022

    ILO launches worker rights inquiry in Myanmar Premium Article

    GENEVA – The International Labour Organization (ILO) has decided to establish a Commission of Inquiry into the decline of workers' rights in Myanmar since the military coup of February 2021. The Commission of Inquiry will investigate the…
  • Monday, 21 March 2022

    China launches sustainable cotton standard Premium Article

    BEIJING - China has introduced its own sustainable cotton standard, covering issues including workers' rights, environmental impact and the use of fertilizers, which comes into force from the beginning of next month. The China Cotton Association…
  • Friday, 18 March 2022

    Bangladesh garment workers' rights 'violated' Premium Article

    BRUSSELS - Garment workers in Bangladesh are suffering from violations of workers’ rights because of a lack of government action, according to a new report from the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC). They suffer discrimination and…
  • Friday, 18 March 2022

    Brands urged to stop sourcing from Myanmar Premium Article

    YANGON - An exiled Myanmar trade union leader is calling on western brands and retailers to sever all times with garment factories in her home country to support the movement to restore democracy. Khaing Zar Aung, president of the Industrial Workers…
  • Thursday, 17 March 2022

    How best to help women garment workers - ILO Premium Article

    GENEVA - A new report from the International Labour Organization details the lessons learned from various projects to increase gender equality in the garment industry. It follows a public call from the ILO’s Decent Work in Garment Supply Chains Asia…
  • Thursday, 17 March 2022

    Chinese brand hit by forced labour claims Premium Article

    BEIJING - Chinese sportswear brand Li-Ning is facing a double-pronged attack over alleged supply chain links with forced labour in both the Xinjiang region of China and in North Korea. First, Norway's US$1.3 trillion sovereign wealth fund, the…
  • Wednesday, 16 March 2022

    Garment workers' plight overlooked in Indonesia Premium Article

    JAKARTA - A new academic study of Indonesia's emergence as an Islamic fashion capital says the country's 'exploited' garment workers are not getting their fair share of the credit or the rewards. Annisa Beta, a lecturer at the University of…
  • Tuesday, 15 March 2022

    ILO welcomes end of Uzbek cotton boycott Premium Article

    TASHKENT – The International Labour Organization (ILO) has welcomed the decision by the Cotton Campaign to lift the global boycott of Uzbekistan cotton products amidst hopes that forced labour has been eradicated there. The ILO also congratulated…
  • Thursday, 10 March 2022

    Uzbek forced labour cotton boycott ends Premium Article

    TASHKENT - The Cotton Campaign collective of NGOs, trade unions, apparel brands and investors has ended its call for a global boycott of Uzbek cotton after a second report in a week found no evidence of forced labour in last year's harvest. For the…
  • Wednesday, 09 March 2022

    Leveson's final report praises and warns Boohoo Premium Article

    LEICESTER - Sir Brian Leveson's fifth and final report to Boohoo's board of directors declares the fast fashion company's Agenda for Change (A4C) programme a success but warns that vigilance will be needed if progress is to be maintained. The…
  • Monday, 07 March 2022

    M&S programme for garment workers resumes Premium Article

    LONDON - A Marks and Spencer (M&S) programme to promote gender equality in garment factories in its global supply chain is resuming after a two year halt triggered by the global coronavirus pandemic. The POWER (Providing Opportunities to Women for…
  • Thursday, 03 March 2022

    Breakthrough in garment worker pay dispute Premium Article

    KARNATAKA - The majority of garment manufacturers which had been refusing to pay their workers the minimum wage since April 2020 in the Indian state of Karnataka have finally agreed to pay up. The Worker Rights Consortum (WRC) says that it has…
  • Wednesday, 02 March 2022

    Uzbek cotton 'free of child and forced labour' Premium Article

    TASHKENT - Uzbekistan has succeeded in eradicating systemic child and forced labour from its cotton industry, according to a new report from the International Labour Organization (ILO). An estimated two million children have been taken out of child…
  • Tuesday, 01 March 2022

    Bid to engage with Leicester garment workers Premium Article

    LEICESTER - The Labour Behind the Label (LBL) initiative has launched a project to engage with garment workers in Leicester where factories supplying clothes to UK fast fashion company Boohoo have been accused of exploiting their employees. LBL has…
  • Monday, 28 February 2022

    Laudes Foundation launches transparency platform Premium Article

    AMSTERDAM - The Laudes Foundation has launched an online platform to help the fashion industry adapt to new legislation such as the European Union's proposed mandatory due diligence legislation. The philanthropic organisation, controlled by the…
  • Friday, 25 February 2022

    Garment firms 'fail to tackle slavery risks' Premium Article

    PERTH - A new report on the impact of modern slavery legislation on the garment industry in the UK and Australia says too many firms are failing to comply with the minimum requirements. Entitled Beyond Compliance in the Garment Industry, the study…
  • Monday, 21 February 2022

    Protecting women garment workers from robots Premium Article

    DHAKA - The winners have been announced of a competition set up to protect women garment workers in Bangladesh from the threats posed to their livelihoods by automation. The Stitch for RMG Global Innovation Challenge was launched by the H&M…
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