The Textile, Clothing and Footwear Union has criticised the federal government’s decision to end funding to Ethical Clothing Australia, announced as part of the government’s anti-red tape drive.
ECA was set
up under the former Gillard Labor government, and runs accreditation and education
programs combating sweatshop labour in clothing companies’ supply chain. It is
formed by both the TCF and industry members.
government also announced last week that it would review laws covering
outworkers in the garment industry.
The changes would affect, “Some of the
lowest-paid and most vulnerable workers in the country,” the TCF Union’s
Michele O’Neil said, according to Fairfax.
formed in 1996, and was receiving $1 million in federal funding annually.
“ECA’s accreditation program is
internationally recognised as best practise in an industry in which
exploitation is endemic,” said the group’s national manager, Simon McRae.
“Critically, the ECA accreditation program has assisted
thousands of homeworkers in the TCF industry obtain their lawful wages and
The federal government has said it is the Fair Work Ombudsman’s role to enforce compliance with workplace laws.