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Unpaid Billions: Trade Data Show Apparel Order Volume and Prices Plummeted through June, Driven by Brands’ Refusal to Pay for Goods They Asked Suppliers to Make

Published: October 8, 2020

US and EU trade data provide considerable evidence of a significant loss in value due to order cancellations. A total of USD 16.2 billion was lost, combined, from April through June in the US and from April through May in the EU (a number that will almost certainly increase when June data are available for the EU). Assuming that wages make up 10 percent of the value (at import price), what this suggests is the loss of more than USD 1.6 billion in workers’ wages, based on reduced imports and retroactive price discounts for the US and EU markets alone.

Farce majeure: How global apparel brands are using the Covid-19 pandemic to stiff suppliers and abandon workers

Published: September 10, 2020

This paper by the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights, ILAW, and the Worker Rights Consortium explores the power imbalances between brands and suppliers and their contractual manifestation. It examines the law of force majeure and related doctrines and how they apply to the current circumstances. The paper explains how brands violate their due diligence obligations through canceling orders….

Un(der)paid in the pandemic

Published: August 17, 2020

The report “Un(der)paid in the pandemic” analyzes nonpayment of wages to garment workers during the months of March, April, and May resulting from order cancellations by apparel brands, unpaid leave, and state-sanctioned wage cuts during the Covid-19 crisis. Based on a review of news reports and information from worker organizations, we estimate that across South…

WRC WHITE PAPER: Who will bail out the workers that make our clothes?

Published: March 26, 2020

Co-authored by WRC executive director Scott Nova and the CCC’s Ineke Zeldenrust, this white paper explains how brands and retailers are shoring up their own finances by refusing to honor contracts with apparel suppliers, forcing suppliers to the brink of bankruptcy and causing large-scale dismissals of workers. The report calls for brands to pay suppliers what they owe them, for the swift mobilization of international financial resources to provide income support to garment workers, and for deeper reforms to address the supply chain inequities that Covid-19 is laying bare.

¿Quién va a rescatar a las trabajadoras(es) que fabrican nuestra ropa?

Published: March 26, 2020

Disponible además en español aquí

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

Published: 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…

Global Wage Trends for Apparel Workers, 2001-2011

Published: July 17, 2013

Garment workers in many of the leading apparel-exporting countries earn little more than subsistence wages for the long hours of labor that they perform. And in many of these countries, as this report discusses, the buying power of these wages is going down, not up.