Call to Action

Questions and Answers: Action in the Global Garment Industry

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 requires 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 and acts as the neutral convener of the Call to Action.

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 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 .

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 its objectives.

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 and the need for rebuilding back better demand urgent action. Organizations considering endorsement are urged to do so now.

7. What is 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 draws upon the strengths of all endorsing organizations. Members of the working group can be found here.
8. What is the role of the National Working Groups in the Call to Action?

National Working Groups will be convened by the ILO and include employers and workers organisations as well as brands and manufacturers that have endorsed the Call to Action. The group may invite other individuals or endorsing organisations to participate as required and upon agreement by the constituents.

National Working Groups will work closely with relevant government departments, international finance institutions and donors. Members of the International Working Group of the Call to Action can be called on to participate to share experiences from the global level and help support discussions as needed.

9. Which countries have been prioritized for action?

The International Working Group developed criteria to support the identification of priority countries as specified in the Call to Action. Considerations included the level of dependency of the country on the garment industry for jobs and exports, the financial ability of the country to support the garment industry during the health and economic crisis, the liquidity needs for business continuity and payment of worker wages, and the level of social protection provision in in the country. Based on an initial analysis of the information available, the Working Group identified Bangladesh, Cambodia, Ethiopia, Haiti, India, Indonesia, Myanmar and Pakistan as initial priority countries.
The International Working Group will respond to requests for support from endorsees in non-priority countries with advice, contacts and experience from action in priority countries.
Contacts for media inquiries
  • International Organisation of Employers, Jean Milligan,
  • International Trade Union Confederation, Gemma Swart,
  • IndustriALL Global Union, Petra Brännmark,
  • International Labour Organization,