Ethical Clothing Australia (ECA) condemns the decision by the Federal Government to cut all funding to ECA and to abandon its ethical procurement guidelines. This decision will harm vulnerable home workers and ethical Australian businesses in the TCF industry.
ECA is an innovative accreditation and education program, which accredits TCF company’s supply chains for meeting all minimum Australian labour standards. ECA has pioneered a unique model of industry collaboration involving employers, unions and community organisations in an effort to eliminate the exploitation of thousands of predominantly migrant women workers in the TCF industry.
Simon McRae, National Manger ECA said, “ECA’s accreditation program is internationally recognised as best practise in an industry in which exploitation is endemic. Critically, the ECA accreditation program has assisted thousands of homeworkers in the TCF industry obtain their lawful wages and conditions.
Through its training and education programs, ECA has assisted hundreds of businesses understand and comply with their legal obligations. ”
Michele O’Neil, National Secretary, TCFUA and Secretary of ECA Committee said, “This is a shocking and short sighted decision by the Abbott government. It directly hurts some of Australia’s lowest paid and most exploited workers. The government is attempting to hide the slashing of funding to this organisation behind so-called red tape. It’s the opposite; it’s a green light to exploitation.”
Damien Peirce-Grant, Chief Operating Officer of Cue said today “Cue has been a strong supporter of ECA and making clothes the right way in Australia. Cue works closely with its manufacturers and works closely with ECA to maintain an ethical workplace.
We are disappointed with this decision by the government to cut funding to ECA that has been supporting clothing & footwear manufacturers, who are pioneering an ethical and innovative approach to manufacturing in Australia”
While ECA will continue to support our accredited brands and fight for a fair and ethical Australian TCF industry, the removal of ethical requirements and the loss of this funding is seriously detrimental to the sector. ECA urgently urges the Federal Government to reverse this decision to ensure that the Australian TCF industry has an ethical and sustainable future.