Clean Clothes Campaign has partnered with trade unions and labour rights organisations around the world to mount a global campaign to demand immediate relief for garment workers and apparel industry reform. La Strada International joined the campaign, as the global garment industry is a very vulnerable sector for severe forms of labour exploitation.
The #PayYourWorkers Campaign is a week of action calling on brands to pay the living wages and uphold labour rights in their supply chains. The 35 million people in global garment supply chains make some of the lowest wages in the world and are struggling to feed themselves and their families. Many workers have reported skipping meals, taking on debts and struggling to meet their families’ nutritional needs. The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed workers further into financial precarity, with workers forced to choose between risking exposure to COVID-19 or starvation. The campaign calls on brands that made large profits in 2020 – like Nike, Amazon and Next- to set up a severance fund by paying manufacturers the equivalent of $0.10 more per t-shirt.
Major global fashion brands have chosen to source clothing from countries with poverty-level minimum wages and minimal social protections in order to maximise their profits. The pandemic has seen an increase in attacks on labour protection laws and union-busting, as well as the deterioration of working conditions for garment workers around the world. Brands that claim to be socially responsible have been accused of abandoning workers in their supply chains.
The #PayYourWorkers campaign is calling on brands and retailers to:
- Pay the workers who make their clothes their full wages for the duration of the pandemic;
- Make sure workers are never again left penniless if their factory goes bankrupt, by signing onto a negotiated severance guarantee fund; and
- Protect workers’ right to organise and bargain collectively.
See more at the campaign website