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ASOS signs global deal on workers rights

Lauretta Roberts
03 October 2017

Young fashion etail giant ASOS as signed a Global Framework Agreement (GFA) with IndustriALL, the world's largest sectorial trade union organisation, to strengthen the implementation of international labour standards across its global supply chain.

The agreement is a first for an e-commerce brand and will help ASOS to establish a framework for protecting the interests of factory workers producing its own-brand products in countries around the world.

CEO Nick Beighton said the "landmark" deal was "a signal of our intent to ensure that everyone working in our supply chain feels safe and respected by their employers and fellow workers."

"This can only be achieved if employees have the right to organize and bargain collectively, and the ability to ensure improved employment conditions are consistently implemented," he added.


ASOS CEO Nick Beighton (r) signs the deal with Valter Sanches

Under the terms of the agreement, ASOS and IndustriaALL, which represents 50m workers worldwide, will commit to:

- the agreement of common strategies on a country-by-country basis;

- the joint development of methodologies to assess the impact of purchasing practices at the worker level of the supply chain;

- the implementation of confidential worker hotlines;

- and the linking of ASOS’ gender empowerment programme with IndustriALL’s worker rights training.

"This agreement provides mechanisms and standards to empower our unions to safeguard workers’ rights across ASOS’ global supply chain. The GFA deepens our relationship with ASOS, and is an important step for supply chain industrial labour relations," IndustriALL general secretary Valter Sanches said.

The move is the latest in the line of ethical initiatives from ASOS. The business launched its first Modern Slavery Statement in 2017 and, earlier this year, made its global factory list public, providing transparency on the 612 Tier 1 factories its uses across 25 countries.

It also participates in Action, Collaboration and Transformation (ACT), an initiative designed to address the issue of living wages and, since 2009, has been a member of the Ethical Trading Initiative, an alliance of companies, non-governmental organisations and trade unions, which actively tackles labour rights issues.

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