- There are many of us taking responsibility to address living wages in the textile industry. By joining forces and working collaboratively, we can find lasting solutions beneficial to all textile workers. The unique collaboration within ACT makes this possible.
Within ACT (Action Collaboration Transformation), 17 brands and retailers are working together with the global trade union IndustriALL. Our shared vision is that all textile workers across the entire industry should earn living wages. We work to find ways to bring sustainable improvements for all textile workers – no matter which factory they work at or which brands they make goods for. Instead, we are looking for fair and long-term solutions that are the same for everyone.
HOW DOES ACT WORK TO GET US THERE?
Firstly, all ACT members agree on the need for industry-wide collective bargaining agreements to achieve living wages. It would mean that workers in the garment and textile industry within a country can negotiate their wages under the same conditions, regardless of the factory they work in, and the brands they produce for.
Secondly, it is important that the brands buying goods from garment and textile suppliers make sure their respective purchasing practices support a living wage. They should enable the suppliers to plan their work to avoid unnecessary peaks and lows. Equally important is that the wage cost on a product is not up for negotiation making sure that the workers’ wages are not negatively affected.
Thirdly, ACT’s engagement with national governments, local trade unions and employers (the factories) is of great importance. Particularly since a commitment from national actors is essential for necessary changes of legal frameworks as well as negotiations between the parties on the labour market.
GROUND-BREAKING AND NECESSARY
All the brands within ACT as well as IndustriALL, representing textile workers all over the world, have agreed to work actively together to transform the way wages are set in the garment and textile industry. This is a unique and necessary collaboration making it possible for us to work in a way we have not been able to do before. Change will not happen overnight, but we are convinced our way of working is the most sustainable long-term.
ACT is something which has never been tried before. It’s a joint initiative of major brands in the garment and textile industry together with IndustriALL with a clear objective to work together to achieve living wages for textile workers in the garment and textile producing countries.
Frank Hoffer, Executive Director ACT
It is positive that we join forces to find solutions to shared challenges. ACT makes it possible to create lasting change for the whole industry in a way that would not be possible for individual companies acting on their own. This is a complex challenge that should be addressed together, especially since the challenges are the same for the whole industry and since we share suppliers with many others.
Anna Gedda, Head of Sustainability H&M group