ACT Member Actions in Myanmar
The current situation in Myanmar continues to threaten the safety and security of workers and factories in Myanmar’s garment and footwear supply chain. Garment workers, trade union representatives and employers are daily navigating the new context that has occurred across Myanmar since February 2021.
At this time, ACT members are focused on the workers and employers across the more than 200 factories in their supply chains and have committed to taking concrete actions and implementing processes to help protect and support workers and employers.
The respect for Freedom of Association (FOA) in garment factories across Myanmar remains a major concern for ACT members in Myanmar. The FOA Guideline, negotiated in 2019 between IWFM and Employer Working Group representing ACT brand suppliers, offers key steps towards effectively implementing FOA for preventing and resolving disputes. The current situation poses a threat to the effectiveness and implementation of the FOA Guideline due to the breakdown of communication and a host of new challenges facing workers and employers. It also demands that processes previously designed to resolve conflict be modified in response to the unforeseen and urgent circumstances. The Fast-Track Dispute Resolution Mechanism (DRM), negotiated by ACT brands member brands, IndustriALL Global Union and local IndustriALL affiliate IWFM, is designed to adequately address and resolve disputes on workers’ rights, including but not limited to Freedom of Association, as efficiently as possible.
Download the Fast-Track DRM here.
Framework on Responsible Pausing of Orders
ACT members have developed a specific framework to address the pausing of manufacturing orders, placed by many global brands with local producers, due to external factors related to the ongoing circumstances in Myanmar. Pausing orders and long-standing commercial relationships can increase the pressure on employers as well as placing at risk the rights of the workers they employ.
The ‘Framework for Responsible Suspension of Orders in Myanmar’ is designed as a responsible approach to minimising this impact during the instability currently impacting production.
Read the summary of the Framework here.
Agreement on Penalties
ACT members recognise that suppliers in Myanmar are operating under inordinate pressure caused by the situation on the ground. ACT members have committed to ensuring that suppliers are not unfairly penalised for delays that may occur because of the situation in the country. Key elements include: engaging suppliers on a case by case basis, endeavouring to maintain open and effective lines of communication with suppliers about the status of business operations and future planning and ensuring an accessible complaints mechanism is available for suppliers should they feel they have been unfairly penalised for delays caused by the situation on the ground.