On April 12, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Foreign Agricultural Service announced the opening of the public comment period on recommendations – made by the Consultative Group to Eliminate the Use of Child Labor and Forced Labor in Imported Agricultural Products – for voluntary private-sector monitoring and verification of child labor and forced labor in supply chains.
In February, FLA President & CEO Auret van Heerden participated in a workshop – Company Responsibilities in Countries with Human Rights Challenges – organized by the Business Humanitarian Forum and the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs.
Washington, DC – The Fair Labor Association (FLA) today announced the selection of Kathryn “Kitty” Higgins as Chair of its Board of Directors. Ms. Higgins joins the FLA Board with over four decades’ experience in the public and private sectors.
On March 17, FLA published a paper by ASOCIACIÓN SERVICIOS DE PROMOCIÓN LABORAL on social protection for apparel and footwear workers in Central America. The target countries in the study were Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua – which have seen an estimated 20% decrease in employment in this sector over the past three years caused by the financial crisis in the United States and an increased shift of apparel and footwear production to Asian countries.
Most corporate social responsibility work on wages has focused on whether a workplace meets a certain level of compensation, usually the legal minimum wage. But fairness of wages and, crucially, perception of wage fairness, are more complex than that. Even if a factory pays workers the national minimum wage and meets other legal requirements (e.g. pay the legally-required wage on time and in full; pay for the proper number of hours worked) it may nevertheless have unfair wages because of undue disparities in wages within the enterprise or because wages may not reflect worker productivity.
On October 25, 2010, FLA convened a second stakeholder forum on wages in Hong Kong. Titled “Wages Along the Supply Chain: Developments and Responses,” it brought together academics, practitioners, and representatives of international organizations, companies, trade unions, and monitoring organizations to discuss recent wage developments (with emphasis on Asia) and responses to address wage issues.