MEDIA RELEASE: Supporting Australia's Textiles, Clothing and Footwear Industry

05 May 2019

A Shorten Labor Government will support Australia’s textiles, clothing and footwear industry and raise awareness of the clothing brands and manufacturers doing the right thing by their workforce.

This election will be a choice between a united Shorten Labor Government which will support decent working conditions in Australia, or more of the Liberals’ cuts and chaos.

Labor will commit $2 million per year to assist Ethical Clothing Australia (ECA) to liaise with a greater number of clothing brands and manufacturers, and expand their work across the country.

ECA is an accreditation body working collaboratively with local clothing and footwear (TCF) businesses to ensure their Australian supply chains are legally compliant.

Australia’s crucial TCF industry has come under major pressures from competitive international markets, complex supply chains and cheap labour.

The issue of sham contracting and other exploitation tends to impact the many outworkers in the TCF industry to a greater extent, with workers facing gruelling hours, irregular work flows and occupational health and safety issues. 

Labor supports the TCF industry, which employs more than 30,000 Australians. They maintain valuable skills and capabilities and underpin regional economies around the country.

If elected, applicable, and consistent with our international obligations, Labor will also require all companies that tender for government contracts to purchase locally manufactured TCF from businesses which are accredited by Ethical Clothing Australia. 

This announcement comes on top of Labor’s commitments to improve job security and decent wages, including restoring penalty rates, cracking down on dodgy labour hire companies and sham contracting, and restoring the balance in workplaces.

This election is a choice between Labor’s plan for secure jobs and decent wages, or bigger tax loopholes for the top end of town under the Liberals. 

After six years of Liberal cuts and chaos, our united Labor team is ready to deliver a fair go for all Australians.