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Supply Chain Innovation

Fair Labor Association and ASN Bank Announce Project to Track Wage Data for Apparel Workers

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Thursday, May 9, 2019

The Fair Labor Association and ASN Bank announced today a project that will advance wage data collection and analysis as a foundational step toward securing fair compensation for workers in the garment sector. The collaboration includes a commitment of 15,000 euros by ASN Bank to support the development of the FLA’s fair compensation dashboard, which incorporates living wage benchmarks.

“Far too often there is a significant gap between the average compensation for garment workers and a sustainable and fair wage,” said FLA President and CEO Sharon Waxman. "Closing the wage gap is essential and requires coordination and cooperation from all sectors, including industry and government. We welcome ASN’s support for our ongoing work to track supply chain wage data as part of our shared vision of a future in which apparel workers receive fair pay in factories everywhere.”

The FLA, using data from its dashboard, will contribute to ASN’s 2019 Living Wage Report, a project of the Platform Living Wage Financials, a coalition of 11 financial institutions that encourages and monitors investee companies to address the non-payment of living wages in their global supply chains.

“In many countries, the minimum wage in the garment sector is not enough to live on. It’s time to change that,” said Irina van der Sluijs, senior advisor for Human Rights at ASN Bank. “ASN Investment funds invest in garment companies, and as socially responsible investors we can influence policy and practice for the good of society. The garment companies in which our funds invest have achieved our sustainability criteria, and we want to challenge them to ensure that their garment workers and others in the supply chain receive a living wage.”

FLA’s new compensation dashboard will complement the wage data collection tool launched by the FLA last year. The tool calculates the average worker wage within a factory by recording information about specific components – base wages, incentive pay, in-kind benefits, and other aspects of worker pay – across several different job descriptions on a factory floor. It separates overtime pay from regular wages so as not to skew the overall compensation. The tool enables FLA and its corporate members to see a factory’s average wage mapped on a wage ladder and compared against existing living wage benchmarks and local wages. With the new dashboard, FLA affiliates will have a place to upload their wage data and view individualized analyses of compensation in their supplier factories as compared to living and prevailing wages in the region.

The FLA, a joint effort of universities, civil society organizations and socially responsible companies dedicated to protecting workers’ rights around the world, promotes a Workplace Code of Conduct that states, “every worker has a right to compensation for a regular work week that is sufficient to meet the worker’s basic needs and provide some discretionary income,” including the needs of at least two dependents. All FLA-affiliated companies agree to the code of conduct and commit to working toward achieving fair compensation for workers in their supply chains.

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About Fair Labor Association

For the past 20 years, the Fair Labor Association has worked to protect and promote the rights of workers across the global supply chain through collaboration among business, civil society, and colleges and universities. FLA-affiliated companies and the factories that supply them commit to uphold high labor rights standards. The FLA conducts transparent and independent monitoring to identify the root causes of labor rights violations and work toward sustainable solutions. For more information, please visit www.fairlabor.org.

About ASN Bank

ASN Bank has invested in sustainable development since it was founded in 1960. The bank only finances and invests in future-oriented companies, sectors and countries that show respect for people, animals and nature in their actions. ASN Bank offers payment, savings and investment services, as well providing mortgage loans. It also finances projects that tie in with its sustainable mission.

ASN Bank is one of the brands of de Volksbank. The other labels are BLG Wonen, RegioBank and SNS. Together, these four brands fulfil the mission defined by de Volksbank: banking with a human touch. For more information, please visit www.asnbank.nl.