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ILO urges governments to extend social protection to the industry

The International Labor Organization has urged governments to extend social protection to the industry and is advising on measures to promote employment retention, short-time work, paid leave and other subsidies. ILO recently stated that the coronavirus is triggering massive losses in output and jobs, with textiles and apparel particularly hard-hit. In Bangladesh, order cancellations have led to lost revenue of about $3 billion, affecting some 2.17 million workers.

ILO said in Bangladesh it is estimated that less than 20 per cent of firms are able to continue paying staff wages for more than 30 days under these circumstances. Similarly, in Vietnam, another major apparel exporting nation, the ILO estimated 440,000 to 880,000 workers could face reduced hours or unemployment.”

Alette van Leur, ILO director for sectoral policies says ILO member states are taking unprecedented measures to protect frontline workers and to lessen the impact on businesses, livelihoods and the most vulnerable. Indeed, Casper Edmonds, ILO director for manufacturing, told WWD that in a recent virtual meeting with Guy Ryder, ILO director-general, representatives from the International Apparel Federation, an employer’s umbrella grouping, called for solidarity across the global supply chain.

The ILO analysis notes that some major buyers have committed to paying for all orders already in production or completed. In Bangladesh, for example, H&M, Inditex, Kiabi, (with deferred payments) and Target and VF have committed to payment. But it added, many other major buyers have still not done so.


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