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Asos strengthens support for supply chain workers | Apparel Industry News

Action aims to strengthen and promote the respect of freedom of association and collective bargaining rights along Asos’ supply chains

Action aims to strengthen and promote the respect of freedom of association and collective bargaining rights along Asos’ supply chains

UK online fast-fashion retailer Asos and the IndustriAll global union are working on a number of new action points to support the economic and social recovery of the global garment industry and the security of workers.

Cooperation has been integral to supporting the global garment manufacturing industry since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020. For Asos and IndustriAll, this collaboration has taken place both bilaterally and in multi-stakeholder initiatives, on both a global and a national level, like the International Labour Organization’s multi-stakeholder Call to Action in the Global Garment Industry (CtA).

Through a new statement signed this month, Asos and IndustriAll have agreed to:

  • Strengthen and promote the respect of freedom of association and collective bargaining rights along Asos’ supply chains;
  • Promote social dialogue at all levels as the main way to solve conflicts;
  • Reaffirm the commitments made since the beginning of the pandemic for stable payment terms in order to support employers’ cash flow and thus provide stability and predictability for workers;
  • Work proactively with suppliers and unions to rectify and reverse effects of unfair and unlawful actions by any of the relevant social partners in Asos’ supply chain; and
  • Work jointly with governments and business organisations in Asos’ sourcing markets to promote their engagement under the CtA.

“This joint statement with clear points of action is an important step in the recovery plan for the global garment industry. It expresses the mutual commitment for respect of unions, while protecting jobs and income of workers along the supply chain,” says IndustriAll general secretary Valter Sanches. “We also call on other international and national stakeholders to commit to this goal and contribute to the global economic and social recovery.”

Asos CEO Nick Beighton adds: “Freedom of association, collective bargaining, and strengthened industrial relations are fundamental enablers of improved conditions for workers in the global supply chain. We’re proud to be renewing our partnership with IndustriAll Global Union and reiterating our long-term commitment to work together to contribute to the security of garment workers around the world.” 

The statement builds on a long-standing partnership between Asos and IndustriAll, established through the Global Framework Agreement signed in 2017.

GFAs are designed to protect the interests of workers employed in all operations of the multinational companies who sign them, and are negotiated at a global level between trade unions and companies. They establish best standards on trade union rights, on health and safety, and on the labour relations principles adhered to by the company in its global operations, regardless of the standards existing in a particular country.

This article was first published by the IndustriAll global union.

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