This is a blog post from Human Rights First's Meg Roggensack, which appeared at www.humanrightsfirst.org/2012/04/04/five-key-takeaways-from-the-flas-foxconn-report.
Last week’s Fair Labor Association (FLA) report on Apple’s Chinese supplier Foxconn should be a wakeup call to all companies that use global supply chains. Here are some key takeaways from the report:
Independent Investigation Uncovers Significant Issues; 35,500 Anonymous Surveys Give Voice to Worker Concerns
FLA to Monitor, Publish Progress Reports on Apple and Foxconn Implementation
On March 21, PVH Corp. signed a landmark agreement backed by international trade unions and NGOs – including Maquila Solidarity Network – to improve factory conditions in Bangladesh. Addressing fire hazards and safety risks is extremely important in the garment sector, and this step demonstrates the commitment of PVH to create safe work environments by examining root causes of issues and working with stakeholders to find solutions.
From Stop Child Labor: "Among a large number of multinationals involved [in the Turkish hazelnut sector], Nestlé has thus far been the only company to make a public assessment of the situation by collaborating with the Fair Labor Association (FLA). The FLA evaluated labor and human rights issues in the hazelnut supply chain in Turkey in August 2011.
From fibre2fashion: The American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA), along with the Fair Labor Association (FLA), the Ethical Trading Initiative, and a broad range of apparel and footwear brands and retailers sent a letter to Cambodia’s Minister of Commerce H. E. Cham Prasidh expressing concern over recent violent unrest that continues to plague Cambodia.
In 2012, the Indonesian government increased minimum wages across the country. These increases range from three to 30 percent, depending on the province, with the most significant change seen in Kota Tangerang and Kabupaten Tangerang: 30.39 percent and 30.93 percent, respectively.
On February 29, the Fair Labor Association Board of Directors approved Nestlé’s application to become a Participating Company in the FLA. Nestlé is the first company in the food industry to join FLA, following collaborations on special projects over the past several months to assess labor conditions and compliance risks throughout Nestlé’s supply chain of hazelnuts and cocoa.
Protection contracts – the practice of official unions or corrupt lawyers negotiating a union contract without the knowledge of workers – is a common practice endorsed by some companies operating in Mexico in order to limit workers’ rights to freedom of association and collective bargaining. These contracts tend to exist only on paper, and workers are typically not informed of the agreement and are unaware of their collective bargaining rights.