This is a guest post from Kyle Richard, a third-year law student at the University of Washington.
On March 4, 2013, the Fair Labor Association (FLA) sent a letter to Peruvian President Ollanta Humala Tasso raising concerns over legislation that currently permits the employment of workers through the use of repeated short-term employment contracts. Short-term employment contracts do not provide stability of employment, and often erode access to fundamental labor rights.
On March 19-20 in New York City, FLA participated in the second convening of the Core Advisory Group of the UN Global Compact, where participants worked to develop global voluntary business principles on sustainable agriculture for companies. FLA is also one of two civil society organizations on the Steering Committee of the program.
On February 19, Rachel Davis of Shift (right) made a presentation to the FLA Board of Directors and led a discussion about the implications of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights for the FLA.
This is a guest post from Alan Yu, the U.S. National Contact Point for the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises.
The Garment Sector Roundtable (GSR) was launched in January 2011 to bring together multiple garment industry stakeholders in Bangalore, including multi-national brands, domestic manufacturers, industry associations, trade unions and research institutions. Through the GSR, FLA and the other participants seek to collaborate in open-minded and creative ways.
Building upon more than ten years of advocacy by Cividep-India, FLA commissioned this study into the provision and quality of legally mandated childcare in Bangalore’s garment factories. The study was initiated on a simple premise: that quality childcare is a necessity, not just for the safety and security of the children, but for the stable growth of an industry besieged by heavy labor turnover among women – who constitute the bulk of the workforce.
Across the globe, millions of men and women migrate in order to find jobs. Many of them provide for their families by working in factories to manufacture clothing and footwear for some of the largest international brands. While some of these workers are successful in finding suitable employment, many others face difficulties ranging from homesickness to bad working conditions, and may even be forced into trafficking – otherwise known as modern-day slavery.
Last month, the FLA held a Stakeholders Forum in the Dominican Republic entitled “After the MFA: Challenges for Promoting and Protecting Workers Rights in a Changing Market Environment.” The broad cross section of individuals who participated helped make this a fascinating and rewarding event. In addition to the general interchange of ideas, the group heard the presentation of a report commissioned by the FLA on the specific implications of these changes for the Dominican Republic. Among those in the audience was DR Vice President Alburquerque. View a summary of the meeting below.
I recently spent a week traveling around China and spending time in factories and government offices talking to people about the much publicized labor contract law, which came into effect on January 1, 2008. Readers will recall that this law was two years in the making and was published for comment in 2006. Over 190,000 submissions were received from the public, including loud objections from prominent U.S. organizations. The law was finally adopted in mid-2007 amidst the public outcry that followed media reports of the use of child slaves in brick kilns.