This is a guest post by Piera Waibel, Global Manager for FLA’s agriculture program.
The World Cocoa Foundation organized the 22nd Partnership Meeting & Roundtable Sessions in collaboration with the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs SECO on October 24-25, 2012 in Zurich.
On October 17, FLA hosted the latest meeting of the Americas Group (AG), which was founded in February 2011 as the MFA Forum Americas Committee concluded its efforts. The Americas Group is a multi-stakeholder forum of brands, initiatives like FLA, the global union for the garment sector – IndustriALL – and other civil society organizations. Members of the AG work together to promote and support globally competitive and socially responsible apparel and footwear industries in the Americas.
The Garment Sector Roundtable (GSR) was launched in January 2011 to bring together multiple garment industry stakeholders in Bangalore, including multi-national brands, domestic manufacturers, industry associations, trade unions and research institutions. Through the GSR, FLA and the other participants seek to collaborate in open-minded and creative ways.
On October 23, 2012, at the request of the adidas Group, the Global Forum for Sustainable Supply Chains will convene a multi-stakeholder meeting of companies, international institutions, insurance experts and civil society to discuss the possible creation of a private fund or insurance product that would provide additional coverage to workers affected by factory closures and non–payment of wages and benefits. The purpose of this meeting is to explore solutions to problems facing workers who do not receive the severance pay and benefits owed by their employers when a factory shuts down.
Building upon more than ten years of advocacy by Cividep-India, FLA commissioned this study into the provision and quality of legally mandated childcare in Bangalore’s garment factories. The study was initiated on a simple premise: that quality childcare is a necessity, not just for the safety and security of the children, but for the stable growth of an industry besieged by heavy labor turnover among women – who constitute the bulk of the workforce.
At a time when India is formally acknowledging the need for growth with equity and social inclusion, Cividep’s long-standing efforts in support of workers’ rights in the garment industry of Bangalore has exposed a serious gap between policy and practice. Every day, women who bear society’s responsibility for reproduction and childcare leave their children behind to enter the factory gates and begin their work-day anxious about the safety and security of their young ones.
There is a growing number of jobseekers among Kenya's 41 million population, and many are turning to what's known as jua kali (translated as "fierce sun" in Swahili or "informal sector" in English) to earn a living. Some hand-carve bones in the slums of Kiberia, while others do beadwork in the outskirts of Nairobi. In 2010, FLA began a special project with the International Trade Centre's (ITC) Ethical Fashion Initiative, which works with marginalized communities of women in Kenya and Uganda to supply income-generating opportunities to assist the groups in reducing poverty.
Over 280 action items completed on time or ahead of schedule; 76 more due through July 2013
The myriad of corporate responsibility requirements, local laws and other labor standards may seem daunting to some factory managers, but industry leaders understand that social compliance is essential to sustainable and profitable business.
FLA is pleased to offer these upcoming training sessions for factory management on how to tackle the many compliance issues and risks that can arise - or may already exist - at their facilities. Training certificates will be provided to each participant upon successful completion of a training.
This is a guest post by Christine Briscoe, manager of FLA’s Category C Licensee Program.
On June 18 -19, I travelled to the Overland Park area in Kansas to visit the headquarter offices of several Category C Licensees to meet staff and learn more about the companies and their labor compliance efforts, and to provide guidance for improvement. Some of the licensees maintain manufacturing or embellishing processes onsite, so it was a great opportunity to observe the facilities in action. Here are some highlights: