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 July 2017, the Fair Labor Association (FLA) sent a letter to the Minister of Labour and vocational training in Cambodia to raise serious concerns about a draft minimum wage law under consideration by the Cambodian government.
On December 14, 2016, the Fair Labor Association (FLA) received a Third Party Complaint from the Sindicato de la Industria Textil Salvadoreña (SITS) alleging violations of the FLA Workplace Code of Conduct at the factory Westtex Apparel, S.A. de C.V. in El Salvador. The investigation of this complaint confirmed allegations of abusive behavior by supervisors, which were remedied by the factory. The assessment did not confirm noncompliances with respect to insufficient time for workers to eat their mid-day meal and excessively high production quotas. With respect to the freedom of association of the dismissed worker, a concurrent inspection by the El Salvador Ministry of Labor was inconclusive as to whether the dismissal followed national law. The claim was subsequently mooted when the worker signed a document stating that he voluntarily resigned.
Over the course of 2016, the Fair Labor Association (FLA) and the Development Workshop Cooperative (DW), a civil society organization based in Turkey, collaborated on a pilot project to trace the garment and cotton supply chains of seven multinational companies sourcing from Turkey and doing business in the Netherlands.
The World Bank reports that among the 2.1 billion people worldwide estimated to be living in poverty, "a vast majority ... live in rural areas ... mostly employed in the agriculture sector." To catalyze progress on fair compensation for farmers and workers involved in agricultural supply chains, FLA assessors began collecting information from workers in 2015 on wages earned at the farm-level in seven countries where the FLA conducts agricultural monitoring.
On, January 13, 2017, the Fair Labor Association (FLA) and Fair Wear Foundation (FWF) sent a letter to the prime minister of Bangladesh, expressing concern over government and employer reaction to recent garment worker protests in the Ashulia area of Dhaka, including the arrest or firing of protesting workers and the detention of union leaders and workers’ rights advocates.
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.
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.
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.