Home / Knowledge / News / Apparel/Garments / TFIA attacks outworker legislation –it must be working!
TFIA attacks outworker legislation –it must be working!
25
Oct '11
The FairWear campaign, a coalition of churches, community organisations and unions, is deeply concerned by statements released late last week by the Council of Textile and Fashion Industries of Australia (TFIA) regarding the impact of outworker protections in the Textile Clothing and Footwear award.

FairWear challenges the claim by TFIA CEO Jo Kellock that the TCF industry has given “financial freedom and flexibility to many workers over the years”. The FairWear campaign has worked with outworkers in Australian cities and suburbs for over 15 years. We have known the TCF industry to provide workers with exploitation, underpayment of wages and unsafe working conditions.

The exploitation of outworkers has been extensively documented. Clothing outworkers are generally migrant women with limited English and limited employment options, who work long hours (often 12 to 14 hours a day) for rates of pay as little as $3-$4 an hour.

Amity Lynch, the FairWear NSW Campaign Co-ordinator, said:
“While we acknowledge and value the right of outworkers to work from home, we do not accept that these workers deserve to be treated as second class citizens and denied the rights of other workers. Outworker legislation has been designed to increase transparency in TCF industry supply chains and expose the exploitation that is so commonplace within this industry.

Improved legal protections for outworkers, and the Ethical Clothing Australia accreditation and labelling scheme, have meant that outworkers are beginning to experience positive changes in their pay and conditions. TCF industry employers and the TFIA are now ramping up their opposition to legal protections for outworkers, a sure sign that these laws must be working.”

FairWear and its member organisations report that while outworkers are beginning to experience changes there are still many who work extremely long hours for very low rates of pay. The compliance and monitoring work needs to continue to ensure that the benefits are felt more widely and that those who have had improvements don't end up back on $5-6 an hour.

The TFIA and employers are arguing that there is currently too much compliance work being done to check that workers in the Australian clothing industry receive the pay and conditions that they are entitled to by law.

This compliance work is necessary because it has been shown time and time again that the industry is rife with exploitation of workers, with many outworkers receiving as little as $4-6 an hour, despite their high levels of skill.

FairWear supports the TFIA's call to preserve the competitive advantage of the local industry, however this competitive advantage should be based on skill and innovation, not on who can get away with paying the lowest wages.

Amity Lynch said:
“You have to wonder why certain employers in the industry are so scared of transparency in their supply chains. Many companies have now become accredited by Ethical Clothing Australia to help ensure that workers in their supply chain receive their correct pay and entitlements. Why should other companies have a competitive advantage by having their clothes made in backyard sweatshops or by paying outworkers less than half the Award wage they are entitled to?”

Council of Textile and Fashion Industries of Australia (TFIA)

Must ReadView All

Textiles | On 22nd May 2017

GST to be biggest achievement of Modi govt: ASSOCHAM

Goods and Services Tax (GST) which is near a roll-out would be the...

Textiles | On 22nd May 2017

Maintaining NAFTA benefits is crucial: Cotton council

The US must remain a participant in a vibrant North American Free...

Apparel/Garments | On 22nd May 2017

Retailers ask Congress not to go for consumption tax

The National Retail Federation has asked US Congress to focus on...

Interviews View All

Rashi Menda
Zapyle

Every fifth sale we make on Zapyle is a repeat purchase

Anshul Sood
Oceedee

‘Indian footwear market is nascent and largely a trend follower’

Amit Jain
Shingora Textiles Ltd

‘In terms of fabric, the fastest growing category for us is a blend of...

Giorgio Mantovani
Corman S.p.A

Giorgio Mantovani, MD of Corman, with a presence in both Milano and New...

Silke Brand-Kirsch
Schlegel und Partner

Silke Brand-Kirsch, executive partner of Schlegel und Partner, a leading...

Iago Castro Asensio
RCfil Distribuciones S.L.

Iago Castro Asensio, International Business Manager of RCfil...

Tony Ward
Tony Ward

"You have to truly understand what your client wants, know her needs, what ...

Robert Brunner
Devereux

Golfwear and menswear brand Devereux is set for greener pastures. Robert...

Jay Ramrakhiani
Occasions Elegance Wear

It is believed that by early 19th century, Varanasi weavers had moved away ...

Press Release

Press Release

Letter to Editor

Letter to Editor

RSS Feed

RSS Feed

Submit your press release on


editorial@fibre2fashion.com

Letter To Editor






(Max. 8000 char.)

Search Companies





SEARCH

news category


Related Categories:
May 2017

May 2017

Subscribe today and get the latest update on Textiles, Fashion, Apparel and so on.

SUBSCRIBE


Browse Our Archives

GO


E-News Insight
Subscribe Today and Get the
Latest News Update in Your Mail Box.
Advanced Search