This is a guest post by Kathryn “Kitty” Higgins, to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the convening of the Apparel Industry Partnership – which has evolved into the Fair Labor Association. Ms. Higgins served as Deputy Secretary for the U.S. Department of Labor and is currently Chair of the Fair Labor Association Board of Directors.
Rohini Chandrasekaran, FLA’s Agriculture Program Coordinator, recently visited several Syngenta-contracted farms producing hybrid vegetable seeds in India. Syngenta is a Participating Company in the FLA. One of the objectives of her trip was to learn more about the impact of Sygenta’s affiliation with FLA on the lives of workers. This is a guest post from Rohini.
The International Trade Center’s (ITC) Ethical Fashion Program supports the development of marginalized communities of women in Kenya and Uganda, mostly groups of artisans based in poor rural and urban settings. The program enables disadvantaged African communities and their groups of informal manufacturers to become part of the global supply chain, thus developing their export capacities and strengthening their position in both the domestic and regional markets. The project is based on a joint effort of the ITC and Ethical Fashion Africa Ltd. (EFAL), which is based in Nairobi.
Washington, DC – On June 14, the Fair Labor Association (FLA) Board of Directors approved significant enhancements to the FLA Workplace Code of Conduct and Compliance Benchmarks, which will strengthen protection of workers’ rights. Six out of nine elements of the adopted Code are either new or revised, in areas ranging from hours of work and compensation to health, safety and environment.
On June 15, 2011, the FLA convened its third stakeholder forum on wages in Istanbul, Turkey, hosted by Participating Supplier Hey Tekstil.
On May 27, School House CEO Rachel Weeks visited FLA headquarters in Washington, D.C., to update staff on the development of her business and share lessons she learned while working in Sri Lanka to help ensure women were paid a living wage while producing School House apparel. School House was the first company to visit FLA’s new headquarters location, and staff gathered to hear Weeks’ story.