Commentary Archive

Statement of the Worker Rights Consortium concerning the Violence of January 6

January 15, 2021

The Worker Rights Consortium strongly condemns the violent anti-democratic invasion of the US Capitol building by racist and other far-right groups that took place in Washington, DC last week. As an American organization headquartered in DC with a global presence, we have seen the impact of these despicable actions reverberate throughout our community, the United…

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Coalition to End Uyghur Forced Labour Testifies before Congress

September 18, 2020

Representatives from the Coalition to End Uyghur Forced Labour testified before the House Ways & Means Committee on Thursday, September 17, 2020. The Campaign for Uyghurs, the Worker Rights Consortium, and the AFL-CIO provided testimony to members of Congress on why apparel brands must divest from the Xinjiang Region of China. Supply chains of most…

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More Brands Paying for Orders, but Many Have yet to Follow Suit

June 2, 2020

The WRC has been working for the last two months to address the most urgent challenge facing garment workers: the decision of many leading apparel brands and retailers, at the outset of the Covid-19 crisis, to retroactively cancel apparel orders that suppliers and workers had already produced. This sudden withdrawal of billions of dollars in contractually…

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Two crises, one flawed supply chain model: How the imbalance of power in global supply chains harms workers

April 23, 2020

On April 24, 2013, the Rana Plaza factory collapse claimed the lives of 1,137 garment workers in Bangladesh and injured thousands more. The tragedy, which was the deadliest disaster in a manufacturing facility in human history, put a spotlight on the grossly unsafe labor conditions plaguing Bangladesh’s garment sector and catalyzed fundamental reform. The international…

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COVID-19 – time for governments, brands and employers to protect supply chain and precarious workers from hardship and infection

March 13, 2020

By Sharan Burrow, General Secretary of the ITUC & Phil Bloomer, Executive Director of Business & Human Rights Resource Centre – Steps should be taken to protect workers and business, write Sharan Burrow and Phil Bloomer. As the economic and human rights impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak come into view, we are again seeing supply…

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Combatting Forced Labor and Enforcing Workers’ Rights Using the Tariff Act

February 26, 2020

By the International Labor Rights Forum – The U.S. has one of the most powerful tools for preventing the import of goods made by forced labor: the Tariff Act. Yet, Section 307 of the Tariff Act is rarely enforced. In its new report released today – “Combatting Forced Labor and Enforcing Workers’ Rights Using the…

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Challenging the Status Quo: Helping Workers Protect their Associational Rights in Myanmar

January 15, 2020

Freedom of association is a fundamental and critical right allowing workers to collectively demand better working conditions. Yet factory management around the world often deny workers this right, illegally terminating union leaders, and sometimes employing violence to quell union organizing. Buyers at the top of the supply chain generally fail to detect such violations or…

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Women workers rallying for their rights in Bangladesh. Photo Credit: Musfiq Tajwar, Solidarity Center.

Despite progress gender-based violence and harassment is still a reality for global garment workers

December 13, 2019

By Rola Abimourched – Today marks the end of this year’s “16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence” campaign. Since its inception in the 1990s, feminist organisations, activists, and courageous individuals have tirelessly foregrounded women’s experiences of violence in their homes, communities, and workplaces. Beyond raising awareness, organisations and individuals have used these sixteen days…

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Line of Kahoindah workers in line

Largest Sum Ever: WRC recovers US$4.5 Million in unpaid severance

December 4, 2019

In the fall of 2019, two thousand Indonesian workers received what the WRC believes to be the largest amount workers have won in a single case of illegally denied severance. On July 2, 2018, the management of PT Kahoindah Citragarment (Kahoindah), an Indonesian garment factory owned by the Korean firm Hojeon LLC, had announced that…

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When ‘business as usual’ costs lives: workers in Pakistan call for a binding safety agreement

November 14, 2019

By Christie Miedema and Liana Foxvog – In Karachi, Pakistan, 11 September 2012 is ingrained into people’s minds as the day on which over 250 people did not return home to their families after a long day of work. A fire in the Ali Enterprises garment factory had spread rapidly, fed by the bales of finished product…

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