Call to Action

COVID-19: Action in the Global Garment Industry

COVID-19: Action in the Global Garment Industry aims to catalyse action from across the global garment industry to support manufacturers to survive the economic disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and to protect garment workers’ income, health and employment. This global action also calls for work on sustainable systems of social protection for a more just and resilient garment industry.

The Call to Action sets out urgent priorities and specific commitments for organizations across the industry to endorse as the first step to collective action to achieve these goals.

This will require all actors – governments, bank and finance institutions, international organizations, brands and retailers/e-tailers, manufacturers, employers’ organizations and trade unions, other stakeholders and development partners – working together urgently to develop concrete and specific measures and to make the contributions needed, consistent with organizational roles, to deliver on these priorities.

Ungaran Sari garment factory in Indonesia © Better Work
The ILO will convene an International Working Group, coordinated by the International Organisation of Employers (IOE), the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), including brands and manufacturers, workers and employer organizations and governments, to further elaborate the implementation steps necessary to deliver on these commitments.

Endorsement information

  • Brands and manufacturers who wish to endorse the Call to Action or have additional questions should contact espinosa@ioe-emp.com at the International Organisation of Employers. IOE provides a confidential space for business organizations to discuss and advise of any related matter.
  • Worker organizations should contact IndustriALL or their Global Union with any related questions.
  • Other organizations who wish to endorse the Call to Action or have technical or other questions may also be directed to the ILO at betterwork@ilo.org

Questions and Answers

1. What is the purpose of the Call to Action?

The call to action aims to generate action from across the global garment industry to protect workers’ income, health and employment and support employers to survive during the COVID-19 crisis, and to work together to establish sustainable systems of social protection for a more just and resilient garment industry.

This will require all actors – governments, bank and finance institutions, international organizations, brands and retailers/e-tailers, manufacturers, employers organizations and trade unions, other stakeholders and development partners – working together urgently to develop concrete and specific measures and to make the contributions needed, consistent with organizational roles, to deliver on these priorities.

2. Who developed the Call to Action?


The COVID-19 Action Plan for the Garment Industry was developed following extensive consultation with global brands and manufacturers and relevant employers’ and workers’ organizations. The final text was negotiated by the International Organisation of Employers (IOE), the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) and IndustriALL Global Union.

International Labour Organization (ILO) has provided technical support to all parties during this process.

3. How does an organization endorse the Call to Action?

Brands and manufacturers who wish to endorse the Call to Action or have additional questions should contact espinosa@ioe-emp.com at the International Organisation of Employers. IOE provides a confidential space for business organizations to discuss and advise of any related matter. Organizations that confirm their endorsement do so on the understanding that they will be added to the public list of endorsees.

Other organizations who wish to endorse the Call to Action or have technical or other questions may also be directed to the ILO at betterwork@ilo.org .

4. What does it mean to endorse the Call to Action?

All organizations endorsing the Call to Action make a public statement to implement the commitments in the document and to advance the priorities through individual and collective actions. Organizations endorsing the action plan will be called upon to take collective action to support the objectives of the call to action.

5. Who owns the Call to Action?

The Call to Action is owned by the organizations that chose to endorse it.

6. Is there a deadline to endorse the Action Plan?


The crisis created by the pandemic and economic slowdown demands urgent action. Organizations considering endorsement are urged to do so now.

7. What will be the role of the International Working Group mentioned in the Call to Action?

An International Working Group, convened by the ILO and coordinated by IOE and ITUC, has been established. The group includes brands and manufacturers, workers and employer organizations, and governments. The Working Group is responsible for overseeing implementation to deliver on the commitments in the Call to Action. The Working Group will draw upon the strengths of all endorsing organizations. Members of the working group can be found here.

8. Which countries will be prioritized for action?

Immediate attention will be on business continuity and protection for workers and employers in countries with weak health and social protection systems, and those whose work demands special measures to ensure their safety and health. Potential priority countries are those highly dependent on GSC and will be identified through analysis of business needs (liquidity, etc) and what social protection measures exist in practice, for example bailouts and implementation of statutory or voluntary protections.

Country prioritization will be one of the areas of focus of the international working group.

Contacts for media inquiries