Better Work is thrilled to be part of the SLARIE project in Egypt through its local branch Better Work Egypt (BWEG), putting its decade-long expertise at the service of boosting labour relations across the local garment sector and incubating good practices at the factory level.
A partnership between the UN’s International Labour Organization and the International Finance Corporation, a member of the World Bank Group, Better Work brings together governments, global brands, factory owners, and unions and workers in nine countries to improve working conditions in the garment industry and make the sector more competitive.
Although the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in Egypt has slowed the pace of BWEG’s activities and services, including the registration of interested factories with the programme, 40 factories have eventually enrolled in the first phase.
BWEG started by offering several orientation sessions to explain the programme`s core services, made of assessments, advisory services, and training/ seminars.
Individual factory-level advisory services have been launched, initially focusing on COVID-19 and other OSH issues. Meanwhile, the programme started its first assessments in August. These assessments are unannounced visits during which a team of two Enterprise Advisors verifies a company`s compliance with national labour standards and international labour laws.
The garment and home textile industries have been subject to a severe shock caused by the pandemic, not only locally but also globally. A BWEG-run survey on the COVID-19 impact among its network of factories in Egypt showed that two-thirds of enterprises had reduced their production capacity due to cancellations of orders.
Yet, as business slowly starts returning to the country and in conjunction with the progress made on the other two SLARIE’s components, Better Work is set to gradually expand its country programme to help improve working conditions and business competitiveness across Egypt.