The Fair Labor Association (FLA) expects its affiliates to account for the impact of business decisions on workers in their global supply chains. The FLA recognizes that during the COVID-19 pandemic, companies of all sizes face challenges and difficult choices that will affect many – including the most vulnerable workers.
Based on the extraordinary circumstances of COVID-19 and with the well-being of workers as a priority, the FLA on April 6 issued a series of recommendations based on the application of FLA principles during the pandemic. The FLA’s Principles of Fair Labor & Responsible Sourcing and Responsible Production provide foundational guidance on the fair and ethical treatment of workers. FLA-affiliated companies have committed to uphold these principles, even as they navigate this global crisis.
The principles include:
- Top-level commitment requires that companies embed workers’ rights into their core operations at the highest levels of management and governance.
- Responsible purchasing and production practices require each company to ensure that their operational decisions – including lead times, financial terms, and order planning do not create a negative impact on workers and working conditions.
- Responsible retrenchment requires companies to ensure that workers are treated according to the workplace, legal, and collectively bargained standards in the event of retrenchment, temporary suspension of operations, or closure. Functioning grievance mechanisms must be available to all workers who can access them reliably, confidentially, and without fear of retaliation.
- Workplace monitoring programs ensure all workplace standards are respected, including putting in place all necessary occupational safety and health precautions to protect workers.
Compiled here are the public statements that document the commitments of FLA affiliates:
- adidas’ Efforts to Support Workers in the Supply Chain During COVID-19
- Fast Retailing Support for Manufacturing Partners and Workers During COVID-19 Pandemic
- New Balance: Working With Our Suppliers
- Nike COVID-19 Response Efforts
- Patagonia Statement Regarding COVID-19 and Our Supply Chain How
- Under Armour Is Working Through COVID-19
- VF Actions in Response to COVID-19
Beyond providing recommendations to its affiliates to guide their responses to the global pandemic, the FLA has joined a coalition of international organizations calling for governments and brands to take action amid the COVID-19 pandemic and work toward a shared vision for social protection and responsible business conduct during and beyond the crisis. The FLA is also one of more than 60 companies and organizations endorsing the International Labor Organization’s Call to Action in the Global Garment Industry.