WRC Communications to Licensees on Wages and Health

To:WRC Affiliate Universities and Colleges
From:Scott Nova
Date:August 17, 2022
Re:WRC Communications to Licensees on Wages and Health

I want to share with you two recent WRC communications to licensees concerning compliance with labor law and university labor standards. As always, please let us know if you have questions or wish to discuss any aspect of these communications.

Compliance with Minimum Wage Increases in Pakistan: Information Request to Licensees

The WRC has written to all licensees sourcing collegiate apparel from Pakistan to ask them to confirm their suppliers’ compliance with recent substantial increases in legal minimum wages, necessitated by very high rates of inflation in the country. Our goal is to ensure that all workers making university apparel in Pakistan are paid the proper minimum wage of 54 cents per hour, as well as any arrears resulting from any prior nonpayment at a factory.

You can see our letter to licensees here. Our earlier memo to universities reviewing the important developments on minimum wage in Pakistan and the risks of noncompliance can be found here. We will update you once we have received and evaluated licensee responses.

Continuing Guidance to Licensees concerning Worker Protection and Compliance Risks Related to Covid-19

Through the course of the Covid-19 pandemic, the WRC has developed and provided guidance to licensees concerning worker rights challenges created or exacerbated by the pandemic. We write today to share with you two of these guidance documents, one related to preventing factory outbreaks of Covid-19 and one related to compensation in cases in which workers contract Covid-19 at the workplace. The documents have been shared with all licensees. They have also served as a tool for addressing cases that have arisen at specific collegiate factories, such as a factory producing collegiate apparel in Guatemala where the factory provided compensation to the family of a worker who died as a result of a Covid-19 outbreak at the factory.

The first document is our updated Guidelines for Effective Covid-19 Infection Control Practices and Policies at Operating Apparel and Textile Factories, developed and revised in cooperation with the occupational health and safety specialists at the Maquiladora Health & Safety Support Network and Alliance Consulting International.

The second document is our Guidelines for Workers’ Compensation for Workers at Garment Factories Who Contract Covid-19, which sets forth formulae for determining appropriate compensation, based on international standards, for garment workers who suffer severe harms from cases of Covid-19 contracted at their workplace.