The Pakistan Textile Exporters Association has partnered with the International Labor Organization (ILO) to set out a framework aimed at improving productivity in the Faisalabad textile and garment industry through training and compliance.

The Public Private Partnership complies with International Labour Standards and includes elements such as occupational safety and health, wages, contracts of employment, discrimination and other forms of mal labour practices, as well as strengthening employers’ and workers’ bilateral arrangements in the textile industry.

The three year agreement will cover around 200 industrial units (small, medium and large) that are engaged in textile export. If the pilot is successful, it will be replicated in other Industrial Associations across the country.

Amir Marwat, Federal Secretary, Ministry of Textile Industry, endorsed the partnership and said the new textile policy also reflects compliance with labour laws, which is of “immense importance” if Pakistan wants to reap the benefits of trade preferences such as GSP Plus.

Francesco d’Ovidio, country director of the ILO, added: “Issues in the garment industry are systemic and require action that helps develop effective industrial relations and promote respect of international labour standards. There is therefore an urgent need to establish strategic and comprehensive public private collaborations and the signing of today’s agreement is a positive step in this direction. I hope that other institutions, inspired by PTEA, will soon join this initiative.”

Representatives of the Employers’ and Workers’ Organisations (EFP and PWF) fully supported the partnership framework and stressed on the importance of establishing a coordination mechanism between textile industries, related workers organizations and Labour Departments on compliance and reporting on labour laws.