Cue has joined the fight against a funding cut deemed “seriously detrimental” to the industry.
The local fashion chain, which is predominantly Australian made, has expressed its disappointment at the Federal Government's recent decision to cut funding to Ethical Clothing Australia (ECA).
Stating its commitment, Cue chief operating officer Damien Peirce-Grant said the brand will stand by both ECA and the Textile Clothing & Footwear Union of Australia (TCFUA) to protest the move.
“Cue has been a strong supporter of ECA and making clothes the right way in Australia. Cue works closely with its manufacturers and works closely with ECA to maintain an ethical workplace.
"We are disappointed with this decision by the government to cut funding to ECA that has been supporting clothing & footwear manufacturers, who are pioneering an ethical and innovative approach to manufacturing in Australia,” he said.
ECA national manager Simon McCrae stated that the organisation “condemns the decision by the Federal Government to cut all funding to ECA and to abandon its ethical procurement guidelines”.
“This decision will harm vulnerable homeworkers and ethical Australian businesses in the TCF industry. ECA is an innovative accreditation and education program, which accredits TCF company’s supply chains for meeting all minimum Australian labour standards. ECA has pioneered a unique model of industry collaboration involving employers, unions and community organisations in an effort to eliminate the exploitation of thousands of predominantly migrant women workers in the TCF industry”.
“ECA’s accreditation program is internationally recognised as best practise in an industry in which exploitation is endemic. Critically, the ECA accreditation program has assisted thousands of homeworkers in the TCF industry obtain their lawful wages and conditions. Through its training and education programs, ECA has assisted hundreds of businesses understand and comply with their legal obligations. ”
TCFUA national secretary and secretary of the ECA Committee Michele O’Neil added that the move by the Abbott government is essentially “a green light to exploitation”.
“This is a shocking and short sighted decision by the Abbott government. It directly hurts some of Australia’s lowest paid and most exploited workers. The government is attempting to hide the slashing of funding to this organisation behind so-called red tape. It’s the opposite; it’s a green light to exploitation,” she said.
ECA said that while it will continue to support its accredited brands and fight for a fair and ethical Australian textile, clothing and footwear industry, the removal of ethical requirements and the loss of this funding is “seriously detrimental to the sector”.
ECA is urgently urging the Federal Government to reverse this decision to ensure that the Australian TCF industry has an ethical and sustainable future.