Pay Your Workers

Urge brands to end wage theft for garment workers in the global supply chain.

Wage theft in the garment industry has reached unprecedented levels since COVID-19. With poverty wages already the harsh reality of making clothes, workers being denied legally owed wages, and severance when they've lost their jobs, has devastated thousands of workers lives.

Millions of workers in the global garment supply chain haven't been paid their full wages or have lost their jobs without adequate financial compensation during and since the pandemic. The majority of factories closed down to 'cut costs' were unionised. Union members have also reported elevated levels of harasment, intimidation and threats.

Earning poverty wages for decades have left garment workers no savings to fall back on. Workers and their families are now going to bed hungry with no hope for their future. We call upon ALL companies in the fashion supply chain to take responsibility for the people that make their clothes and profits. We want to ensure that garment workers are always paid what they're owed.

TAKE ACTION: Tell brands to #PayYourWorkers

What are we asking?

  1. For brands to pay suppliers 10 cents more per product to end wage theft in their supply chains.
  2. For brands and suppliers to protect workers’ right to organise unions and bargain collectively.
  3. For brands to pressure their suppliers to pay all unpaid wages and severance.

Over a dozen brands have already committed to ensuring their workers are paid in full during the pandemic, including Nile, Kuyichi, Taiyo, and Known Supply. It is up to bigger companies to follow suit.

We are particularly calling out Amazon, Adidas, Nike, and Next, but ALL brands need to commit to the wage assurance.

Cambodia worker calls on brands to #PayYourWorkers

Why do brands need to #PayYourWorkers and #RespectLabourRights?

Brands and r/etailers have a responsibility under international standards as well as a moral responsibility to ensure that the workers in their supply chains are not paying the price for this pandemic. As the primary profit makers in the value chain, brands have the capacity and the obligation to intervene. The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights clearly state the role and responsibilities of businesses with respect to the human rights of the people their business affects. Brands must ensure that the workers who make their clothes are paid income equal to or greater than what they received at the onset of the crisis and severance if they lose their jobs.

They can publicly show that they are safeguarding the livelihood of their workers by publishing the wage assurance commitment on their website. This will make clear that they commit to ensuring that workers in their supply chains are paid what they are owed during the pandemic, and that they will join a severance guarantee fund so that workers are never again left penniless if their factory goes bankrupt.

Attacks on labour laws, plant closures targeting unionised factories, and brands’ failure to perform human rights due diligence have systematically undermined worker protections and left workers in garment supply chains extremely vulnerable. Brands must protect workers’ right to organise and bargain collectively.

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WANT TO DO MORE? Print our clothes labels!

Take action by spreading our clothes labels in shops or taking other actions from our guerrilla campaigning action pack!

We know that this won't be possible in all countries and cities, so it's even more important for people near cities that aren't locked-down to get involved.

We want to put workers' voices on blast; where better than in the clothes they made but weren't paid for? The QR code leads people to this action page! Please take pictures of your action and share them online, to amplify the workers' voices even more.

Are shops closed where you are? No problem, write the #PayYourWorkers hashtag or one of workers' quotes on a sign and take a picture near one of the closed shops or at home.

Post your picture on social media using the hashtag and tagging Amazon, Next and Nike and any other brand you want to call out. 

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What you can do? Read, share, and take action:

  • Read more about our research into the garment industry wage gap in our reports.
  • Ask Nike, Next, Amazon or your favourite brand on social media: what are you doing to #PayYourWorkers & #RespectLabourRights?
  • Keep up to date on the consequences of the pandemic on workers in garment supply chains via our live-blog and spread these resources widely.
  • Keep posted! More action is coming from all across our network, we will not accept that workers are left unpaid!