As per COVID-19 Brand Tracker of Workers Rights Consortium, despite the EU and German Governments providing a €113 million or Tk 3000 (€29.31 euro) per month for eligible Bangladeshi workers for three months, only 3,266 workers benefitted from the ILO’s Call for Action scheme. Launched in April 2020, the Call for Action was a well-timed initiative for brands as this was at the height of the cancelled orders crisis, a time when brands were cancelling orders with garment manufacturers in countries such as Bangladesh, Pakistan and India.
The initiative urged employers, workers, retailers and major brands would form an international working group – convened by the ILO – to address the already serious damage to the garment industry caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Signatories to the initiative included the Sustainable Apparel Coalition, adidas, H&M and Inditex as well as unions including IndustriALL and ITUC. The initiative covers only eight countries, and in only four of those are garment workers currently slated to receive cash transfers under a global multi-donor ILO initiative, with funding from the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).