A report released today by the Fair Labor Association demonstrates that garment workers in Bangladesh are earning poverty-level wages, often while relying upon excessive hours of overtime to lift their earnings toward a living wage.
Through interviews with workers and in-depth discussions with experts, the FLA found that female migrant workers in Malaysia, Taiwan, and Thailand routinely face discrimination due to pregnancy laws designed to target them, or poor implementation of laws and regulations intended to protect them. Female migrant workers are especially at risk because they face three levels of discrimination: as a woman, as a pregnant person, and as a migrant worker.
The Fair Labor Association (FLA), and five allied organizations, wrote to the Prime Minister of Cambodia on March 19, urging implementation of key labor law reforms agreed to by the Cambodian government in October of 2017.
The Fair Labor Association (FLA) and American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA) wrote the government of Myanmar expressing strong support for the labor law reform process now underway, while urging the government to ensure that this process results in laws and regulations that are consistent with the fundamental conventions of the International Labor Organization, creating a strong foundation for mature industrial relations and strong growth for the garment and footwear industries in Myanmar.
The FLA announced the accreditation of three social compliance programs developed by major apparel and footwear brands to uphold fair labor standards in their supply chains. All three companies were recognized for their innovative work in pursuit of the FLA’s mission to improve workers’ lives worldwide, and their adherence to the FLA’s Principles of Fair Labor and Responsible Sourcing.
At the end of 2017, the FLA submitted detailed feedback to the Social Labor Convergence Project (SLCP), on their "standard-agnostic" data collection tool and verification methodology. Early in the SLCP process, the FLA also shared the organization's comprehensive assessment tool, the Sustainable Compliance Initiative (SCI), with the SLCP team, to help inform their thinking about labor standards and audit convergence. Read the FLA's comprehensive feedback to the SLCP on their tool and methodology below.
To increase the FLA’s impact, the strategic plan for 2018 - 2022 describes a strategy to improve conditions for the 5.6 million workers in the factories and farms of our current affiliates and additional workers in the new affiliates we hope to add. The strategy is founded upon the FLA’s long-standing commitment to establish and apply strong labor standards through a transparent process that holds companies accountable, while we also increase our efforts to drive systemic improvement through collaboration, innovation, remediation, and capacity building.
As more nations around the world pass laws holding companies accountable for conditions throughout their supply chains (see our white paper on emerging regulations), developing processes for investigating deeper supply chain tiers will become more important for both brands and suppliers. The FLA continues to lead collaborative efforts with companies and civil society organizations to trace supply chains to their source and propose solutions for the labor rights violations our researchers encounter.
Leading garment brands and trade associations from Europe and the US have called on the Myanmar government to respect the rights of the ethnic minority population of Rakhine State or risk further eroding business and investor confidence.