VF Corporation has joined the International Labor Organization, International Organization of Employers, International Trade Union Conference, and others to call for action to support the rights of garment workers throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.
VF commits to act on key priorities as outlined by the call for action:
1. We call on governments and financial institutions to accelerate access to credit, unemployment benefits and income-support, no or low-interest short-term loans, tax abatement, duty deferral, fiscal stimulus, and others forms of support.
2. We recognize support is needed to enhance social protection schemes and support action to preserve jobs through different means, tax packages or social security charges and temporary unemployment programs. We will strongly support access to these funds so that suppliers can preserve their activities. This is vital to prioritizing jobs and incomes of workers immediately and throughout the extended period of the crisis.
3. We require such funds shall be used to enable manufacturers to ensure business continuity including payment of wages for all workers regardless of employment contract, in accordance with national laws, collective agreements, and any prevailing income-support and job-retention schemes to deal with the crisis.
As part of our endorsement of the call to action, VF commits to a range of actions throughout our supply chain (See the VF Supply Chain Actions statement) in full alignment with the ILO call to action, including, but not limited to:
a) Paying for finished and partially completed goods / products.
b) Communicating with supply chain partners regarding business operations and future planning.
c) Collaborating with suppliers to understand how VF may be able to support those who are facing financial challenges.
4. Promoting respect for the ILO core labor standards, as well as safe and healthy workplaces.
5. Supporting the development of social protection floors and to extending social protection for workers and employers in the garment industry, consistent with ILO recommendation 202, with a view to establishing over time the responsibilities of all parties to contribute for sustainable systems.