ILO releases new guides to help garment factories become more resilient

ILO releases new guides to help garment factories become more resilient

by Juliette Tafreschi created 2021-10-27T19:27:14+07:00
Building business resilience during and after the COVID 19 pandemic has become one of the most important topics for garment manufacturers. Find out about recommended measures for factory managers in the new guides from ILO.

The COVID-19 crisis has shocked markets around the world and will likely have a growing and long-lasting impact on the world economy. In Asia, garment manufacturers in multiple countries have been forced to stop production or reduce capacity due to the major disruption of end-to-end global supply chains and the emerging health crisis, which has resulted in national restrictions on people as well as economic activity. What makes this current situation particularly challenging is that both the demand and supply side of operations are being affected.

Reports from garment-producing countries in Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Vietnam have emphasized the gravity of the situation, for garment factories as well as for workers. The negative affect by the COVID-19 situation for this sector will continue. A lack of supply, a lack of demand due to consumer’s loss of income and fear of spending money in a time of recession, labour shortages and compulsory temporary closures – these are just some of the scenarios that have already occurred or will do so in the near future.

Who suffers most from the effects of COVID-19?
It is not difficult to guess who is among the most vulnerable group in this context. The textile workers are confronted with job cuts and short-time work.This reduction in working hours or layoffs could have devastating effects on millions of workers and their families. Especially, young women and workers with limited skills and education will have difficulties to cover their basic needs and will find themselves in a highly precarious situation. Female workers are at increased risk of violence and harassment because they are more homebound due to the pandemic.

How can garment factories navigate the COVID-19 pandemic and build business resilience?
The economic impact of COVID-19 and the tragic human consequences, are expected to be significant. To mitigate the impact, garment manufacturers need to improve resilience and prepare for longer-term impacts on their business.

But which recommendations should garment manufacturers follow? What concrete measures can they implement in factories? And how can they safeguard their workers and themselves? Responding to the urgent needs of the garment industry, the ILO has developed a series of six action-oriented guides for garment factory managers to navigate the COVID-19 crisis:

With simple and easy-to-implement recommendations, and step-by-step instructions, checklists and additional templates, the guides help factories take action to improve business resilience. They have been designed primarily for second tier and subcontracting factories. The guides are available in Bengali, Chinese, English, Khmer and Thai.