Covid-19 and global clothing retailers’ responsibility to vulnerable workers: NGO counter-rhetoric

Nglaa Ahmad, Shamima Haque* (Corresponding Author), Muhammad Islam

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)
17 Downloads (Pure)


This article aims to examine how non-governmental organisations (NGOs)' narratives portray the vulnerability of workers in global clothing supply chains during the COVID-19 crisis.
The research analyses the rhetoric in global clothing retailers' and NGOs' counter-rhetoric during the first seven months of 2020.
During this period, retailers employed rhetorical strategies to legitimise irresponsible actions (corporate hegemony prevailed), while NGOs embraced forms of counter-rhetoric trying to delegitimise the retailers' logic, stressing the role of neoliberalism in worsening the situation.
The authors contribute to the literature by providing new insight into the consequences of COVID-19 for retailers' neoliberal practices and the livelihood of workers in global supply chains. Findings of this study extend authors’ knowledge about retailers' COVID-19 measures: These have contributed to the plights of workers working for their supply factories in the global South.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)216-228
Number of pages13
JournalAccounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal
Issue number1
Early online date26 Aug 2021
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jan 2022


  • COVID 19
  • neoliberalism
  • NGO counter-rhetoric
  • Global clothing retailer
  • transparency
  • workers' vulnerability


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