Impact

 

2012 was a year of tremendous growth for the Fair Labor Association, and the impact of its work could be felt at all corners of the world. Companies' efforts to promote and uphold FLA's labor standards in their product supply chains helped to improve conditions for workers everywhere - from farms in Cote d'Ivoire to electronics manufacturing facilities in China.

On November 26, 2012, FLA, Nestlé and FLA’s Global Forum for Sustainable Supply Chains jointly organized a stakeholder consultation at Nestlé’s R&D Center in Yopougon, Abidjan. The consultation was an important part of the Action Plan on the Responsible Sourcing of Cocoa from Côte d’Ivoire, developed by Nestlé in response to the FLA Assessment on Nestlé’s cocoa supply chain in Côte d’Ivoire.

Excerpt from President's Message: This year the civil society organizations, universities and companies affiliated with FLA made strides in their efforts to improve workers' lives, laying the foundation for the organization’s next chapter of impact and growth. In June, for example, FLA’s Board of Directors approved a number of enhancements to the FLA Workplace Code of Conduct for the first time since its adoption in 1999. Working together over the course of nearly three years, FLA stakeholders developed substantive improvements to the FLA Code.

Issues: A 2009 follow-up visit by FLA assessor revealed that a factory producing sports shoes for Nike in India had set an annual limit for bonus qualification at Rs. 3,500. This was well below the legal amount of Rs. 10,000. The factory employed 1,563 people.

Solutions: FLA assessors verified that the bonus qualification was raised to Rs. 10,000 (approximately $200), and a notice was posted to inform workers of the change.

Issues: FLA assessors discovered that pregnant women were working nine hours per day - more than the legal limit - during a 2005 factory visit. Additionally, the factory's on-site crèche, or daycare facility for children, was not functioning.

2012 was a year of tremendous growth for the Fair Labor Association, and the impact of its work could be felt at all corners of the world. Companies' efforts to promote and uphold FLA's labor standards in their product supply chains helped to improve conditions for workers everywhere - from farms in Cote d'Ivoire to electronics manufacturing facilities in China.

Excerpt from President's Message: This year the civil society organizations, universities and companies affiliated with FLA made strides in their efforts to improve workers' lives, laying the foundation for the organization’s next chapter of impact and growth. In June, for example, FLA’s Board of Directors approved a number of enhancements to the FLA Workplace Code of Conduct for the first time since its adoption in 1999. Working together over the course of nearly three years, FLA stakeholders developed substantive improvements to the FLA Code.

In 2010, the international labor community was stunned by the Foxconn suicides and unsettled by the Honda strike in China. These events, while troubling, were not entirely surprising; the era of an endless stream of docile workers willing to labor for low wages had been coming to an end for some time. The suicides and strikes were but two of the most disturbing signs of underlying turmoil.

When President Clinton convened a meeting of multinational companies and NGOs at the White House in 1996 and challenged them to work together to improve working conditions in the apparel and footwear industry–a process that led to the formation of the Fair Labor Association in 1999–the dialogue was highly adversarial. The parties had to hammer out a system for respecting labor rights with meaningful performance obligations for companies and sufficient safeguards to ensure that the companies lived up to those obligations.

The last couple of years have been a period of transition for the FLA, in more ways than one. The global economic system has been shaken to its core and the impact on workers has been palpable around the world. The work of the FLA has been dominated by controversial factory closures and mitigating the impacts of the crisis. Falling orders have meant that factories have had even fewer resources to ensure that they respect workers rights, especially in cases where factories have had to lay off workers or worse, close their doors.

EA works with a supplier factory in Mexico to protect worker health and safety and remedy issues related to wages and benefits following an FLA assessment.

Acushnet Company works with supplier in Thailand to protect workers' rights to freedom of association following an FLA assessment.

Following an FLA assessment, VF Corporation works with supplier in El Salvador to ensure accurate compensation for overtime work.

adidas and Nike work with a Vietnamese apparel supplier to prevent forced labor, respect freedom of association, and protect the health and safety of the factory's 2,275 workers following an FLA assessment.

adidas and Forty Seven Brand work with supplier in Bangladesh to prevent discrimination against pregnant women following an FLA assessment.