13 May 2020: BIG W has become a member of the Action Collaboration Transformation on Living Wages (ACT).
The membership, which commenced in March 2020, will see BIG W collaborate with ACT members to drive progress in improving wages in the global garment and footwear industry. This includes improved purchasing practices linked to collective bargaining agreements aimed at implementing living wages.
BIG W Managing Director, David Walker said: “These are undoubtedly challenging times for all regions globally, given the impact COVID-19 is having on the way we all live.
“COVID19’s impact on the garment industry has reinforced BIG W’s values and commitment to always being fair and doing the right thing in all regions in which we operate.
“Over this period, we have honoured all our future commitments to our partners and factories to pay in full for orders that are completed and those still in production. We have also improved payment terms to support suppliers in need through these difficult times.
“As part of our membership, BIG W is actively participating in all ACT meetings and discussions with international brands to support emerging issues in Bangladesh relating to COVID-19 to continue our support of improving the lives of workers in garment factories.”
One of the key aims of ACT is linking national collective bargaining at industry level supported by international purchasing practices to enable and improve living wages for workers.
Collective bargaining at industry level means that representative organisations of employers and trade unions make a binding agreement on wages and working conditions that covers all their members, both workers and employers, in a certain sector or industry.
David Walker added: “BIG W’s first priority will always be to care for our team, local and international supply partners and customers, so that improvements can be made now and that a better future for workers can be built. This is in addition to working within the framework and directions of the Bangladesh Government, BGMEA and BKMEA.”