Free Trade Zones
Millions of textile, clothing and leather workers around the world are employed in Free Trade Zones, special economic zones designed to attract foreign investment and promote export-led industrialisation. Today, there are 43 million workers employed in such zones, of which the majority are in China’s ever-growing Special Economic Zones.
The ITGLWF deplores the exploitation of workers in many of these zones, where trade union rights are often ignored.
The ITGLWF is committed to :
- continue to promote awareness of international standards concerning trade union rights among all parties involved in Free Trade Zones;
- continue to implement a coordinated organising and global solidarity strategy involving in-depth research and based on strategic pressure on targeted Free Trade Zone companies;
- encourage governments to integrate Free Trade Zones into their national economies, ensuring that national labour and social legislation is respected;
- support pressure on governments to enter into detailed tripartite consultations before the establishment of any further Free Trade Zones, and to create tripartite advisory committees on industrial relations as an integral part of FTZ management structures;
- encourage the governments of exporting countries to cooperate at regional level in establishing and adhering to international minimum standards in all parts of their countries, including Free Trade Zones.