Labour Behind the Label

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2005 National Women's Conference
18 October 2004

Thousands of women around the world work in an industry where exploitation is the order of the day. Workers cannot complain or they could lose their jobs. If they try to form a union or join a union to fight for better pay and conditions, they get ill-treated and intimidated. That is the garment trade. The women who work in it deserve a fairer deal.

Spare a thought for the women around the world who make clothing and footwear. They have had to work long hours plus forced overtime for a mere pittance. Why? Because clothing companies impose ridiculously tight deadlines on their suppliers. This leads to factory managers breaking rules to meet them.

It isn’t fair and it is time that companies took their responsibilities seriously.

Conference instructs the National Women’s Committee to:

1)campaign for fair treatment in the garment industry to ensure that this exploitation of women on low pay ends and that international labour standards are applied;

2)raise awareness of the plight of our sisters and circulate information to UNISON branches.