H&M and Gap have announced support for an ILO convention seeking to combat workplace harassment. This has been heralded as a historic time for women workers by the US director of Global Labor Justice since these were the first brands with a predominantly female workforce to have come out in support of such an initiative.
Earlier the retailers had said they would investigate allegations on violence and sexual abuse in both companies’ supply chains. Sexual harassment, physical violence, verbal abuse and forced overtime are in no way isolated instances in garment factories.
Gap and H&M are the first brands in the garment sector or any other sector where women dominate the supply chain and to publicly support an ILO convention on gender based violence.
Gap wants its Tier I suppliers – approximately 800 factories in about 30 countries – to make the transition from a cash-based system to digital payments by 2020. By having suppliers pay garment workers digitally, Gap aims to accelerate the transition toward a more transparent workplace for women and men who make its clothes.
Swedish fashion retailer H&M has a network of 4,700 stores around the world. It is one of the world’s largest clothing manufacturers and produces hundreds of millions of products each year.