Western brands must contribute to freedom of association in the garment industry and stop government and employer resistance to union organisation.
Since 2005, more than 1,000 textile workers in Bangladesh have died in fires and building collapses. Thousands of people, many of them young women work in appalling and unsafe conditions in factories which supply western countries and High Street stores with cheap clothing.
Despite being rejected by the House of Lords recently, the coalition’s discredited ‘shares for rights’ scheme, which allows workers to give up basic employment rights in exchange for company shares, was passed in the House of Commons by a margin of 277 to 239.
Claims by the coalition government that the UK’s beleaguered manufacturing sector is beginning to show signs of recovery were dealt another blow this week by the reliable Markit/CIPS purchasing managers’ index (PMI), which showed that manufacturing contracted in the first quarter of 2013.
A new ‘skills eco system’ now puts clear water between Labour and the Tories policy of ‘pile ‘em high and sell ‘em cheap’ low grade apprenticeships.
Figures published last week showed a shock contraction in manufacturing which rounded off another dire week for the UK economy and signalled yet more misery for ordinary working families at the hands of government austerity.
Socialist MEPs argue that the EU should intervene directly to revive manufacturing across Europe.