The current pandemic threatens the lives of many people worldwide. Not only in terms of health. The global economic crisis is causing income losses and, in the worst case, poverty. This is especially true in regions where many of our clothes are made: Many developing and emerging countries have no social security systems.
Businesses, workers, trade unions and governments are affected – social dialogue is urgently needed to mitigate the effects of the pandemic.
In 2016, we were the first German retailer to enter into a strategic partnership with the global union federation IndustriALL Global Union. In the same year, we jointly launched the initiative ACT on Living Wages with a number of other textile companies. Since then, we have been working together to enable workers in factories to join unions without being discriminated against – and collaborating for workers to receive an income that allows them to live in dignity.
The Corona crisis has hit the global garment industry and its workers hard. Together with the UN International Labour Organisation (ILO), more than 130 companies, associations, trade unions – including IndustriALL – and other organisations, we have been engaged in the so-called Call to Action to mitigate the worst consequences since April 2020. Above all, we want to secure incomes and establish long-term social security systems in the manufacturing countries. For example, not having public unemployment insurance is threaten the livelihoods of many people in this crisis. Behind all this stands the known, now even more urgent need for change in industry. IndustriALL is an important partner in this.
We are pleased to strengthen our manifold cooperation with IndustriALL for a better clothing industry by this joint declaration! Together we are working to ensure that companies can survive and people can keep their jobs. That health and hygiene measures guarantee a safe working environment. That the crisis is not used to suppress trade unions. And that employees are paid more in the long run.
IndustriALL reports about our joint declaration here.
During the Corona crisis, we continue to work in partnership with our suppliers. The Business and Human Rights Resource Centre has surveyed our purchasing practices in its Covid-19 Tracker.