Blog: Twists and turns in Yue Yuen strike
Leonie Barrie | 28 April 2014
A strike by thousands of workers at shoe maker Yue Yuen continued with a number of twists and turns last week, including an order from Chinese officials that the firm must provide back pay for past unpaid social insurance.
The move creates an important precedent, according to observers, since unpaid social insurance is a pervasive issue in most Chinese factories - including suppliers to major international brands.
The first-year anniversary of the Rana Plaza building collapse in Bangladesh coincided with the release of a new report examining major remedial plans established in the wake of the disaster. These, it says, are failing to address the greatest risks posed by the systemic weaknesses of the Bangladeshi RMG sector.
Meanwhile, the country's government lacks the resources, administrative capacity and sheer will to protect garment workers; while international brands need to recalibrate their business relationships to prioritise transparency and long-term commitment.
Without knowing the precise history of the products they sell, the apparel industry will struggle to make a real difference to issues ranging from sustainability to illegal subcontracting. So a tool piloted by M&S to great fanfare more than two years ago is now going back to the drawing board in a bid to tackle traceability across the clothing supply chain.
US clothing giant Gap Inc has set its sights on growing operating margin beyond 13%, as it looks to gain a larger share of the US$1.4 trillion global apparel market. Key to this is building a more responsive supply chain, seamless inventory, international expansion, and omni-channel capabilities.
Progress on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) continues to falter, yet many garment makers continue to ramp up their investments in Vietnam - one of the negotiating countries - despite ongoing uncertainties over the rules of origin issue.
And a number of changes over the past month to Chinese government policies on both the production and sale of raw cotton are also continuing to cause uncertainty.
Confirmation that digital supply chains are top of mind for apparel industry executives came last week with the latest plans from global sourcing specialist Li & Fung....
British retailer Marks & Spencer has agreed a new contract with the two sourcing directors who have been responsible for overhauling the group's clothing supply chain....
As a barometer of the issues top of mind for apparel sourcing executives, it is hard to beat the annual Prime Source Forum in Hong Kong. ...
Over the past month, Donald Trump and his team failed to offer any clear plan to ensure Americans would "Buy American, Hire American" - while the British government's attempts to clarify the specifics...
The Bangladesh government was forced to respond late last week to pressure over its crackdown on labour activists after a number of global brands and retailers, including H&M and Inditex announced pla...
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