25th October 2018
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The UN’s ILO announced on February 17 it had signed a partnership agreement with the Pakistan Textile Exporters Association (PTEA) to promote Decent Work in Faisalabad’s textile industry.
The programme agreed on will continue for three years in over 200 industrial units (small, medium and large) exporting textiles in the area. After successful piloting, the ILO believes that “this intervention will be replicated in other Industrial Associations across the country.”
Francesco d’ Ovidio, the ILO’s Country Director, said “I hope that other institutions, inspired by PTEA, will soon join this initiative.”
The programme covers issues almost indistinguishable from the Better Work programmes the ILO sponsors – with the collaboration of the local garment trade associations – in most major garment exporting countries: occupational safety and health, wages, contracts of employment, discrimination and other forms of labour mal ractices as well as strengthening employers’ and workers’ bilateral arrangements.
Nowhere else, though, has the ILO partnered with a textile manufacturing association without also partnering with the garment makers. The absence of the PRGMEA – and d’ Ovidio’s “hope” it will join – seem to indicate either that the PRGMEA is reluctant to cooperate, or that the ILO is concerned the central Better Work secretariat is overstretched in some way.
Ironically, when the Disney company ceased allowing products carrying its characters to be made in Pakistan, it hinted that it might reconsider if there were a Pakistan Better Work programme. Though many Pakistani garment makers pushed their government to push the ILO to create one, we can find no trace of the PRGMEA making similar calls