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Government should expand social security in industry to mitigate future crisis: ILO

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The International Labor Organization has urged policymakers to expand social security to industry and is consulting on steps to encourage retention of jobs, short-time work, paid leave and other subsidies. The ILO has recently reported that coronavirus causes massive losses in production and employment, with especially hard-hit textiles and apparel. Order cancelations in Bangladesh have contributed to a loss of about $3 billion in revenue, affecting around 2.17 million employees.

 

The ILO review states that some big buyers have already committed to paying or completing all orders. For example, in Bangladesh, H&M, Inditex, Kiabi, (with deferred payments), and Goal and VF committed to payment. But it continued, that’s not yet achieved by several other big buyers.

Under these conditions, ILO said in Bangladesh it is projected that under these conditions, fewer than 20 per cent of companies will afford to pay staff salaries for more than 30 days. Similarly, the ILO reported 440,000 to 880,000 employees in Vietnam, another major exporting nation for clothing, could face reduced hours or unemployment.

Alette van Leur, director of sectoral policies at the ILO, says member states of the ILO are taking unprecedented steps to protect frontline workers and that the effect on enterprises, livelihoods and the most vulnerable. Indeed, ILO manufacturing director Casper Edmonds told WWD that members of the International Apparel Federation, an employer’s umbrella organization, called for unity around the global supply chain in a recent virtual meeting with ILO director general Guy Ryder.

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