Safeguards

Safeguards are a set of tools that enable the Fair Labor Association (FLA) to address instances of significant and persistent noncompliance with the FLA Workplace Code of Conduct and Compliance Benchmarks in production facilities used by FLA affiliated companies, suppliers or university licensees.  Safeguard measures include:

  • Third Party Complaints
  • Brand-commissioned Independent Investigation with FLA Verification
  • FLA-commissioned Special Independent Investigation
  • Stakeholder Dialogue
  • Projects

Safeguards tools, which may not be mutually exclusive, offer the opportunity to engage stakeholders more proactively and effectively on issues that are important to them and may relate to systemic and entrenched concerns that are not amenable to resolution using narrowly-focused approaches.

The Third Party Complaint procedure is the cornerstone of Safeguards. Pursuant to the Third Party Complaint procedure, any person, group or organization can report to the FLA allegations of instances of persistent or serious noncompliance with the FLA Workplace Code of Conduct and Compliance Benchmarks in a production facility used by an FLA-affiliated company, supplier or university licensee.  The goal of the Third Party Complaint procedure is to remediate any noncompliances that might be identified.  The FLA maintains a chart tracking the progress of our investigations into recent Third Party Complaints. 

Brand-commissioned Independent Investigations with FLA Verification and FLA-Commissioned Special Independent Investigations are tools that can be used to address situations where there is a perceived need to investigate a potential serious violation of worker rights and carry out remediation, but a formal Third Party Complaint has not been filed or is not appropriate. Standards of independence of investigations, remediation, and transparency characteristic of Third Party Complaints are also applied in the application of these Safeguards.

Stakeholder dialogue and projects are two ways in which the FLA identifies and addresses systemic issues affecting specific labor markets. These activities might be initiated by the FLA on the basis of information received from staff or from stakeholders or could take the form of a specific project developed by an affiliated company on an issue of broad interest to FLA stakeholders.

E Garment factory in Cambodia

Publication date: 
Wednesday, May 8, 2013
Report type: 
Investigation
In mid-March 2013, the Fair Labor Association (FLA) engaged Veasna Nuon, an independent expert on Cambodian industrial relations, to investigate allegations of freedom of association violations at the E Garment factory in Cambodia by the Worker Rights Consortium. E Garment is owned and operated by FLA Participating Supplier Yee Tung Group; Category B Licensee VF Corporation sources from the factory.

Century Miracle factory in Jordan

Publication date: 
Wednesday, May 8, 2013
Report type: 
Investigation
Yee Tung Garment Company Ltd. (Yee Tung Group), headquartered in Hong Kong, is an FLA Participating Supplier. Among the factories owned by Yee Tung Group is Century Miracle Ltd. (Century Miracle), located in the Al Hassan Industrial Estate, Ramtha, Jordan. The factory produces knits and t-shirts for several international buyers. In early 2013, the international press began to report on clashes at the factory involving migrant Burmese workers and concerns about their safety.

Foxconn Verification Status Report

Publication date: 
Tuesday, August 21, 2012
Report type: 
Investigation
In February 2012, FLA assessed working conditions and the treatment of workers at three Chinese factories manufacturing Apple products, which are owned and operated by Foxconn. FLA returned to the facilities from June 25 to July 6 2012 to verify the implementation status of remedial action items through June 30.

Ozak Tekstil in Turkey

Publication date: 
Friday, March 16, 2012
Report type: 
Investigation
The Board of Directors of the Fair Labor Association (FLA) provisionally approved the application of Ozak Tekstil Konfeksiyon Sanayi ve Ticaret A.S. (“Ozak Tekstil”) to become a Participating Supplier on June 14, 2011, contingent on the fulfillment of several administrative requirements for affiliation set out by the FLA Board. Because the company did not fulfill these requirements, Ozak Tekstil did not become an FLA Participating Supplier.

Style Avenue factory in El Salvador

Publication date: 
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Report type: 
Investigation
Outerstuff and College Kids commissioned an investigation following allegations of noncompliance at the Style Avenue factory, and developed a plan to address the issues found. In June 2012, FLA commissioned the Center for Reflection, Education and Action to verify the progress of implementation of the remediation plan. The verification report confirmed that some of the original findings have been successfully addressed by factory management, but that several issues require further attention.

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