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Impact

 

Across all 18 factories studied for this report, the Fair Labor Association (FLA) found that not a single garment worker among the more than 6,000 whose wages were studied was earning income even close to a living wage, measured against any living wage benchmark.  While the report found the minimum wage in Banglesh set below the World Bank poverty line, buyers and suppliers need not wait on government action to begin working collaboratively on higher wages.

Across all 18 factories studied for this report, the Fair Labor Association (FLA) found that not a single garment worker among the more than 6,000 whose wages were studied was earning income even close to a living wage, measured against any living wage benchmark.  While the report found that the minimum wage in Bangladesh is set at poverty levels, buyers and suppliers need not wait on government action to work collaboratively on higher wages.

Hazelnut production in Turkey takes place mostly in family-owned small- scale orchards, where traditional labor-intensive techniques remain in place and labor relations are informal. Especially during the harvest, laborers work long hours without social security benefits under severe conditions like extreme heat, on steep and slippery terrain, usually seven days a week.

Depending on their destination, temporary migrant workers may also be subject to pregnancy testing as a condition for continued employment throughout their contract period. While this type of pregnancy discrimination is legal in some countries, such as in Thailand and Malaysia, and banned in others, such as in Taiwan, pregnancy testing has been commonly associated with forced deportation, and loss of employment and income.  The FLA provides recommendations for brands and governments on how to improve this situation.

In February 2018, the Tamil Nadu government released a new order, clarifying the status of workers manufacturing hosiery or engaged in tailoring work. The FLA urges all affiliated brands sourcing knitwear from Tamil Nadu to work with suppliers to support wages that continue to meet at least the tailoring level, in pursuit of wages that cover workers’ basic needs plus discretionary income.

"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.