How Can We Tackle Abuse in the Global Garment Industry?

In the face of rampant labor exploitation in the clothing industry, many unions in countries like Vietnam, Indonesia, and Bangladesh are trying to increase the minimum wage and improve working conditions. In the mutual pursuit of financial gain by countries and corporations, the “mobility of capital (and immobility of labour) creates a global race to the bottom,” notes Alice Evans for the Conversation. Such union efforts are falling short for women. When fired for becoming pregnant, they frequently receive little union support. Developed countries like the United Kingdom that purchase much of their clothing from Southeast Asia could support women-friendly efforts like funding training programs that are conditional on gender quotas. Brexit may prove to be a bureaucratic hassle in necessitating a renegotiation of scores of trade deals, though Evans sees a slim hope for a silver lining. The United Kingdom has opportunity to revamp trade policies with Southeast Asia in ways that improve working conditions, particularly for women. – YaleGlobal

How Can We Tackle Abuse in the Global Garment Industry?

Unions are beginning to unravel the underbelly of the enormous clothing business, but consumers worldwide could do more to encourage improved working conditions
Alice Evans
Thursday, November 24, 2016

Alice Evans is a lecturer in human geography at the University of Cambridge.

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