Commentary Archive

$1.3 Million Wage Theft from Salvadoran Workers Who Made Disney/ABC-licensed Grey’s Anatomy Scrubs for Barco Uniforms

June 2, 2021

One year after the factory closed, workers are still owed an estimated $1.3 million The Industrias Florenzi factory in San Salvador, El Salvador, dismissed its 210 workers in the first half of 2020, finally ceasing operations in July. One year later, however, workers still have not been paid the $1.3 million in terminal compensation which…

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Brands Should Consult Unions before Resuming Sourcing in Myanmar

June 1, 2021

Within the past two weeks, several apparel brands that put a pause on sourcing from Myanmar in response to February’s military coup in the country resumed their sourcing, drawn by cheap prices for apparel and a labor movement constrained by arbitrary arrests and violent suppression from the police and military. Despite the military’s unwillingness to…

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Burmese Workers in Thailand showing their severance money

Buyers Pulled Orders When Migrant Burmese Garment Workers Spoke Out in Defense of Their Rights, Now They Are Making Workers Whole

May 10, 2021

Despite the inclusion of nondiscrimination protections based on nationality in Thai labor law, Mae Sot is known as a black hole of labor abuse for the many Burmese migrant workers who produce apparel there. Burmese workers in Mae Sot face a range of workplace violations that often go unreported and uncorrected due to their status…

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Accord workers

Why would leading apparel brands and retailers—like Zara, Tommy Hilfiger, and American Eagle—walk away from a life-saving inspection program that is the only effective worker safety initiative in their global supply chains?

April 22, 2021

The Rana Plaza apparel factory collapse killed more workers than any other manufacturing disaster in human history. The 1,134 known deaths in that building on April 24, 2013, a culmination of more than a decade of mass fatality incidents in Bangladesh’s sprawling garment industry—all in factories producing for leading global brands. The most important thing…

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Lesotho Garment Worker Program to Combat Gender-Based Violence Begins

February 8, 2021

by: Carolyn Butler, Solidarity Center A worker-centered, precedent-setting program that targets gender-based violence and harassment (GBVH) in four Lesotho garment factories is now in effect for as many as 10,000 workers producing jeans for the global market. The program inauguration on Friday was marked by a social media campaign, including SMS text blasts to garment…

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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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Why We Need Corporate Transparency on Factory Closures

October 14, 2020

Covid-19 has meant a huge drop in demand for apparel, resulting in many closures of garment-producing facilities, with many more expected. Factory closures have sweeping social impacts, both short and long term, with a single closure often affecting the livelihoods and life prospects of thousands of workers and their dependents. When closures are carried out…

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During Pandemic, Universities Continue Support of Living-Wage Jobs

October 5, 2020

Despite the tremendous challenges facing colleges and universities during this back-to-school season, dozens of schools have chosen to leverage their mask procurement and licensing choices to support living-wage jobs by sourcing from Alta Gracia Apparel.

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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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