TEXTILE 

COVID-19 causes many problems in the textile sector. Due to cancelled orders, employees are sent home without payment. Those who still have to work do so in a poorly protected environment.   

  • August 7 - Research shows that textile factories in Guatemala do not follow the safety rules regarding COVID-19. Of the 89 researched factories, only 2 have taken measures aimed at distance and extra hygiene. 
  • July 7 - During the COVID-19 crisis, many new factories appeared in China producing mouth masks. Many of those factories are now closing again because of less demand. It appears that the working conditions in these factories were severely substandard. The production line was often unsafe and workers were paid per mouth mask produced.
  • May 4 - The decline in retail sales has led to a sharp drop in demand and price for cotton. While most Fair Trade cotton has been harvested, all ginning units and spinning mills are closed, which means that there is a financial risk for farmers if the market is opened at a lower price. It is expected that the preparation of the land and the sowing of cotton for the next season will be affected by delays in seed distribution.
  • April 28 - Textile factories in Bangladesh slowly reopen. There are concerns about safety in the workplace: it is difficult to keep a distance, there are few protective equipment available and financial worries are causing workers from rural areas to return to the cities. This increases the risk of contamination.   
  • April 27 - According to a study / survey by the Center for Global Worker's Rights, the COVID 19 crisis has had serious consequences for textile factories and textile workers in Bangladesh: more than half of the suppliers in Bangladesh have had most of their current or completed production cancelled and as a result the textile workers have been dismissed and do not receive financial compensation.
  • April 26 - Over 500,000 jobs in Cambodia's textile sector have become redundant due to cancelled orders from clothing brands. Many organisations are calling on clothing brands to pay for orders placed. The ILO has drawn up an action plan so that dismissed workers can claim a financial contribution. Read more about it here.   
  • April 20 - In Cambodia there are protests against several manufacturers, because workers are sent home in the COVID-19 crisis without compensation. Employers are obliged to pay 40% of their employees' wages, with the government compensating another 20%. In reality this is not done by employers. 
  • April 14 - Employees of some garment factories in Cambodia have to continue to work, despite the COVID-19 crisis. Workers are worried about the spread of the virus, because work spaces are poorly ventilated and distances between workers are small. There are also insufficient protective equipment.