Millions of workers in the textile industry still lack the knowledge and tools to negotiate better working conditions. Low wages that do not amount to a living wage, excessive hours of work, and violence against women at production sites continue to be part of the everyday lives of these workers. Combatting these issues require collaboration from many different stakeholders including governments, trade unions, clothing brands, civil society organisations and the workers themselves.
This is why FWF is proud to announce it is leading a strategic partnership between FWF, the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the international arms of Dutch trade unions CNV Internationaal and Mondiaal FNV. This 5-year endeavour creates a opportunities for joint action, using the partner’s knowledge and expertise in lobbying and advocacy, and the resources available to all. Projects will be set up, carried out and evaluated in Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Myanmar, Vietnam, Pakistan and Ethiopia.
Working together with different stakeholders in the textile and garment sector, and creating spaces for those different stakeholders to find common ground, are at the core of FWF’s work. This partnership will enhance FWF’s ability to create dialogue between different groups. Moreover, collaboration provides an opportunity for FWF and trade unions to continue working to strengthen and promote labour rights in the countries where they operate.
It also helps to strengthen civil society in the areas where it will be active by engaging in capacity-building activities such as trainings to civil society organisations. And FWF’s trainings at production sites mean that workers’ capacity to understand and stand-up for their rights are also strengthened.
This unique mix of trade unions, civil society organisations, governments and companies in the sector will provide a better understanding of each actor’s role in the industry. The partnership will have access to garment supply chains, and the ability to work directly to effect change in them. The projects that form the backbone of the partnership will allow the partners to see the effects of their actions on the supply chain, and on the lives of textile and garment workers in the countries where it operates.