The ACT project, boosted by IndustriAll Global Union, assigned Turkey to Inditex, Cambodia to H&M and Myanmar to C&A to coordinate the application of a sectoral collective bargaining.
Inditex, H&M and C&A split the textile world up . The biggest fashion shared out the major retail supplying countries to apply ACT Project, created by IndustriAll Global Union. The initiative has the objective of reaching a sectoral collective bargaining to improve labour rights in the main countries of clothing production.
Turkey, Cambodia and Myanmar are the principal regions to put into practice the collective union policies, according to the international federation. To do so, these countries were divided up among the major fashion companies in order to promote labour rights in textile industry. Inditex will coordinate the business activity of Turkey, while H&M and C&A will supervise the bargaining of Cambodia and Myanmar, respectively. Vietnam and Bangladesh are still pending allocation, as well as Ethiopia.
The initiative was created in 2015 and its main points were to promote a minimum living wage in the supply chains, responsible purchasing practices by the largest groups in the sector and the application of freedom of association and the right of collective bargaining. Among the fashion companies that are committed to boost this project we can find Arcadia, Asos, Bestseller, Primark, PVH and Zalando, apart from Inditex, H&M and C&A.
Arcadia, Asos, Bestseller, Primark, PVH and Zalando are some of the other fashion companies participating in the ACT Project
According to IndustriAll, Cambodia is the country where the initiatives progressed the most, as the brands that collaborate purchase in the region 50% of its production and the measures are being implemented during the last few years. For 2019, the association expects to address the application of the project in Bangladesh.
Under the pressure of the giants
Although the ACT Project is been active for four years, the collective bargain to apply the labour relations is still scarce, according to IndustriAll. As they claim, the companies are the ones that have to take the initiative to carry the negotiations. For instance, in Turkey, backed by Inditex, no sectoral collective bargain is granted due to the resistance of companies.
According to the global union, the companies have the responsibility to put pressure on their suppliers since their investment in the country is decisive both for the activity of the factories and the textile industry of such countries.
Moreover, the union points out that the pressure large fashion groups have to exert is not limited to suppliers or employer organizations, but to its own governments as well, because they are tightly linked to the companies. Likewise, this business pressure will require, according to IndustriAll, a more coordinated action by the fashion companies themselves, one that overcomes its own competitors’.
Finally, the association also points out that in order to promote the ACT Project, two preferred union spaces must be established: the leading countries of fashion companies and the countries that are part of the supply chain.