The World Health Organization’s March 11 declaration of the COVID-19 pandemic and its almost immediate impact on workers’ jobs and incomes has laid bare the immense and historical structural inequalities of the global garment and footwear industry.
Years of campaigning by trade union and labour rights organizations around the world have forced major apparel brands to acknowledge that the workers who make their products are entitled to wages that meet their basic needs by local standards. The focus has now shifted to pressuring brands to put their living wage policies into practice.
Gender-based discrimination is an endemic problem in maquila factories throughout Central America and in garment export factories around the world. Women workers face discrimination in hiring, promotions, and dismissals; sexual harassment and other forms of violence in the workplace; and lack of respect for their rights to health care,...
Throughout the global garment export industry, the fundamental human right of workers to freedom of association (FOA) and collective bargaining is routinely violated by employers and severely restricted or prohibited by law.
MSN believes that global brands must be held accountable for worker rights violations in their supplier factories, and that governments must adopt policies and regulations that protect workers from corporate violations of their rights.
Since 2005, MSN has been working with Bangladeshi labour organizations and international allies to expose and remedy unsafe working conditions in the country’s garment industry and to pressure international brands to compensate the survivors of factory disasters and eliminate unsafe conditions and practices in their supplier factories.