COVID-19 pandemic: Worker advocacy groups create guidance for apparel and textile workers
Washington — The Worker Rights Consortium and the Maquiladora Health and Safety Support Network have issued a set of guidelines intended to protect apparel and textile workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The document consists of immediate onsite work practices, as well as new and revised policies on infection control measures for facilities inside and outside the United States.
“Ensuring the safety and health of the workforce must be the top priority,” the document states. “Direct participation of workers and their representatives in the development, implementation and verification of effective infection control programs at the factory level is essential.”
A spokesperson for the support network – a volunteer group of occupational safety and health professionals who provide information, technical assistance and onsite instruction on workplace hazards to workers and community organizations in the developing world – told Safety+Health some textile and apparel factories are operating during the pandemic, including those under contract to produce medical clothing and equipment for health care workers.
WRC is an independent labor rights monitoring organization.