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.
Since 2013, the FLA annually conducts monitoring visits in Nestlé’s traced cocoa supply chain in Ivory Coast. Independent External Monitoring (IEM) covers a growing portion of the cocoa supply chain served by the Nestlé Cocoa Plan (NCP), which represents 30 percent of its total cocoa supply chain as of mid-2016 as reported by Nestlé. In 2015, the FLA conducted IEMs in four cooperatives that were never assessed before, and also Independent External Verification (IEV) in two cooperatives that were previously assessed in 2013.
For the assessment year 2015 - 2016, the FLA conducted unannounced independent external monitoring (IEM) and independent external verification (IEV) visits to assess working conditions at Syngenta‘s supplier farms in India, during the period of November 2015 - March 2016. Four IEMs were conducted in the regions of Buldhana district of Maharashtra (tomato); Warangal district of Andhra Pradesh (rice); and the Koppal district (tomato), and Yerballi, Yellapura, Arasikere districts (hot pepper) of Karnataka. One IEV was conducted in the Khamman district (corn) of Karnataka in January 2016.
For the assessment year 2015-2016, the FLA conducted unannounced independent external monitoring (IEM) and independent external verification (IEV) visits to assess working conditions in Syngenta’s corn supply chain in Thailand between the months of September 2015 and April 2016. Three assessments were conducted, two IEMs in Suphanburi and Lampang, and one IEV in Tak Province. The IEV assessed the progress of Syngenta’s remediation of non-compliances found at the farm level in previous monitoring visits done two years ago (2013) in the same villages.
For this report, the FLA worked with one of Nestlé's tier-1 suppliers to identify an appropriate tier-2 supplier for an assessment of working conditions at farms outside of the "Nestlé Cocoa Plan." Assessors visited farms in four communities, interviewing farmers, farmworkers, and supply chain intermediaries. This report describes the structure of the supply chain they found, and working conditions at the farms.
In August 2016, FLA Participating Company Syngenta was scheduled to begin the first phase of its pilot project for ensuring minimum wage payments to seed production workers, as a step toward fair compensation at Syngenta-supplying farms in India. The first phase of the project will cover approximately 750 farmworkers in all production capacities in as many as seven villages producing hot pepper seeds in the state of Maharashtra, with the second phase (set to begin in October) covering nearly 2000 corn de-tasseling workers in ten to 15 villages in Andhra Pradesh.
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, 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.
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.
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.