Apparel Industry and the
Launch of Better Work
Following a free trade agreement with the US, signed in 2001, Jordan’s garment sector has experienced significant growth in the past decade, reaching 17% of total exports in recent years. Together with the expansion of the industry, the country has also seen an increase in its migrant workforce. There are over 40,000 workers in the export apparel sector (of a total 55, 000 in the industry) and over two thirds are migrants from South and South East Asia, filling jobs that are largely unskilled and poorly paid, with long working hours.
In 2008, at the request of the Government of Jordan, the International Labour Organization and the International Finance Corporation launched a Better Work program in the country, to promote good working conditions. The constituents aimed to build on the successful ILO project, Better Factories Cambodia, which brought together
national stakeholders and international buyers to increase compliance with national and international law and improve working conditions. As part of Better Work Jordan’s service model, which includes comprehensive assessments of compliance with fundamental rights and working conditions, the program helps participating factories establish
Performance Improvement Consultative Committees (PICCs), which bring together equal numbers of worker and manage-
ment representatives to develop and implement improvement plans.