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.
The FLA today launched an independent investigation into labor rights allegations at Foxconn, an Apple supplier factory in Shenzhen, China. The investigation comes following reports of poor conditions for workers at Foxconn facilities.
Apple joined the FLA as a Participating Company last month. Like all FLA Participating Companies, Apple has agreed to uphold the FLA’s Workplace Code of Conduct throughout its supply chain.
This is a post by Auret van Heerden, President & CEO of the Fair Labor Association. He recently appeared on CNN to discuss ongoing issues facing workers at Foxconn and how Apple’s recent admission to the FLA will help improve working conditions throughout the supply chain.
Representatives of major brands, the Chinese Government, and the Fair Labor Association (FLA) gathered in Beijing on January 8 to discuss a new book examining wage trends at the global level. The book, Fair Wages – Strengthening Corporate Social Responsibility, sheds light on wage inequalities and unfairness facing workers around the world. It was authored by Dr. Daniel Vaughan-Whitehead, professor of corporate social responsibility at Sciences Po in Paris, who is responsible for wage practices at the International Labour Organization (ILO).
The Fair Labor Association today announced that Apple will join the FLA as a Participating Company, effective immediately. The FLA will independently assess facilities in Apple's supply chain and report detailed findings on the FLA website. Apple becomes the first technology company to join the Association as a Participating Company.
On January 3 and 4, 2012, FLA hosted a training session in Shenzhen, China, for accredited monitoring organizations and others wishing to learn more about the Fair Wage Approach developed by Daniel Vaughn-Whitehead of the ILO. During the training, attendees debated the piece rate payment system that is widely used in Chinese factories. This system pays employees per garment produced and is often implemented because it seems transparent and easily understood by both workers and managers.
On January 1, 2012, the 2010 California Transparency in Supply Chains Act took effect. The Act compels companies that meet certain threshold requirements to disclose their efforts to eradicate slavery and human trafficking from their supply chains.
FLA affiliates searching for step-by-step guidelines to create a disclosure website, or for more information about the Act, please read the report attached.
On October 12, 2011, the Institute for Global Labour & Human Rights released a report alleging a number of noncompliances at the Style Avenue factory in El Salvador, including harassment or abuse and forced overtime. Two collegiate licensees registered with FLA – Outerstuff and College Kids – were sourcing from the factory at the time of this report. Outerstuff and College Kids commissioned FLA-accredited monitoring organization, GMIES, to investigate the allegations.
Cocoa, hazelnut projects prepare Nestlé to join the FLA as a Participating Company
Boston Review recently published its Citizen Consumer forum, featuring responses by labor experts, advocates and academics to an article by Dara O’Rourke on ethical consumption. O’Rourke, co-founder of Good Guide and professor at the University of California, Berkeley, weighs the impact of ethical consumerism on the marketplace and discusses some of the tools available to help consumers make smart decisions.