Fair Labor in Action
In 2011 alone, an estimated 5.5 million workers were impacted by the combined efforts of the civil society organizations, universities and companies that are working together as part of FLA. The true measure of success, however, is the nature of the impact – the degree to which workers are more respected by their employers, have more of a voice in their own futures, and feel safer at work. Through its independent monitoring and third party complaint process, FLA has helped bring about real and lasting change for workers everywhere, including trade union recognition; rehiring of unfairly fired workers with back pay; improved labor-management relations in factories; and training and education programs for management and workers. To learn more about how FLA is protecting workers' rights worldwide, read the case studies and annual reports below.
In this documentary, farm workers, labor contractors, farmers, manufacturers, government officials, and migrant children offer their perspectives on the FLA's pilot project implementing USDA guidelines for improving agricultural supply chains and on the situation for migrant hazelnut harvesters in Turkey.
“Responsible sourcing is a cornerstone of our approach to the sustainable development of our business. It is also an essential part of our relationship with the farmers and producers we depend on for our supply of raw materials,” says Hanna Jager, Global Responsible Sourcing Leader for Nestlé.
"Hazelnuts are the most important product, especially in the Black Sea region. When harvesting them [it's vital] that we consider how we can do it in better conditions. We shouldn't pick this product at the expense of other people's quality of life," says Nurcan Önder, Director General of Labor for the Ministry of Labor and Social Security in Turkey.
Migrant farmworkers discuss their work to harvest hazelnuts, returning year after year, some since childhood, along with their families. In partnership with the US Department of Labor and the Ministry of Labor and Social Security in Turkey, the Fair Labor Association, Nestlé, Balsu, and Olam have been working to create safe spaces for children in the hazelnut harvest and improve conditions for workers.
For the assessment year 2016-2017, the FLA conducted four Independent External Monitoring (IEM) visits and one Independent External Verification (IEV) visit to assess working conditions at Syngenta’s supplier farms in India. The assessments covered around 220 acres of farmland located in the states of Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, and Telangana. In Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, assessors continued to find workers paid below the minimum wage (the subject of an ongoing pilot project by Syngenta), including some workers paid less than half the local legal minimum.
"Among the success stories of 2016 recounted here, perhaps the most encouraging are those that describe the ways that our affiliates collaborate to achieve common goals -- building fair supply chains and solving systemic problems," writes FLA President Sharon Waxman notes in her introduction to the 2017 Annual Public Report.
In early 2015, the FLA took a major step toward realizing long-standing organizational and affiliate commitments to ensure that workers in global supply chains earn fair compensation for their labor, as required by the FLA Workplace Code of Conduct. At its February 2015 meeting, the FLA Board of Directors unanimously approved implementation of the organization’s new Fair Compensation Work Plan, which began with the introduction of a comprehensive wage-data collection effort as part of the FLA’s 2015 factory and farm assessment cycle.
In 2014, the FLA experienced a year of restructuring, renewed commitment, and program advancement, overseen by a former country director for the International Labour Organization (ILO), who returned to the ILO after helping return the organization to financial health and stability. The Annual Public Report for 2014 demonstrates key ways the FLA advanced during this transitional year:
2013 was year of transition and recalibration for the FLA. While this report explains the challenges the FLA encountered in maintaining due diligence during 2013, it also reports the FLA's successes that year, such as the adoption of Principle 8 (covering responsible purchasing and production), the continued development of the Sustainable Compliance (SCI) methodology, and the implementation of a new fire-safety training program. 2013 culminated with the hiring of the new president of the FLA, Claudia Coenjaerts, who shares her vision for the future of the FLA as part of this report.
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.
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.