ILO Says Garment Industry Should Do More to Help Workers



ELAINE KURTENBACH | Associated Press

MITO, Japan (AP) — The coronavirus pandemic has slammed the apparel industry, leaving many of the 65 million Asian garment factory workers struggling as factories close or cut back on wages, and the International Labor Organization is urging the industry to do more to protect them.

The ILO issued a report Wednesday noting that imports from major garment-exporting countries in Asia plunged by up to 70% in the first half of 2020 and are still well below levels before the crisis hit, costing many workers their jobs as factories closed or cut back on production.

While that has had dire consequences for those working in the industry, most of them women, the pandemic is an opportunity for fashion brands to make their supply chains more resilient, sustainable and “human centered,” said Christian Viegelahn, a senior economist at the ILO’s regional office in Bangkok.

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