Fair Labor in Action
In 2011 alone, an estimated 5.5 million workers were impacted by the combined efforts of the civil society organizations, universities and companies that are working together as part of FLA. The true measure of success, however, is the nature of the impact – the degree to which workers are more respected by their employers, have more of a voice in their own futures, and feel safer at work. Through its independent monitoring and third party complaint process, FLA has helped bring about real and lasting change for workers everywhere, including trade union recognition; rehiring of unfairly fired workers with back pay; improved labor-management relations in factories; and training and education programs for management and workers. To learn more about how FLA is protecting workers' rights worldwide, read the case studies and annual reports below.
The Fair Labor Association and Iyi Pamuk Uygulamalari Dernegi (Good Cotton Practices Association), a strategic partner of the Better Cotton Initiative in Turkey, in 2017 launched “Improving Employment Practices in the Turkish Cotton Sector—Toward Decent Working Condition in Cotton Farms in Şanlıurfa,” a project in partnership with seven global brands—adidas, Asos, IKEA Range and Supply, Inditex, Nike, Puma and PVH—sourcing apparel and other cotton products in Turkey.
The FLA outlines the findings of research to test interventions designed to protect workers in the supply chains of three affiliates. The evaluation, called a social impact assessment, included interventions executed by Nestlé and its two suppliers, Balsu and Olam, in the hazelnut supply chain in Turkey and identified the most effective at upholding workers’ rights.
An analysis by the Fair Labor Association(FLA) finds that factory workers in Vietnam work excessive overtime, beyond what is acceptable by international standards, to close the significant gap between what they earn and what they need to provide for themselves and their families.
The findings in FLA’s new report, Toward Fair Compensation in Vietnam: Insights on Reaching a Living Wage, reflect data collected over three years representing 13,000 workers across 38 FLA-affiliated factories in Vietnam. The report’s key findings:
An agricultural intermediary is a person who establishes a business connection between a producer and a seasonal agricultural worker and who, in exchange, receives a commission from the worker or employer. In seasonal agricultural work, agricultural intermediaries hold key positions. The intermediaries, called "Dayıbaşı" or "Çavuş" in Turkey, have diverse responsibilities such as establishing a business connection, setting a wage guarantee and providing accommodation.
The Fair Labor Association developed the ENABLE Training Toolkit to prepare sustainability managers, master trainers, and field-level practioners to apply components of the USDA Guidelines for Eliminating Child Labor and Forced Labor in Agricultural Supply Chains in the context of their own organizations. It aids in the understanding of implementing a human rights due diligence program.
"Among the success stories of 2016 recounted here, perhaps the most encouraging are those that describe the ways that our affiliates collaborate to achieve common goals -- building fair supply chains and solving systemic problems," writes FLA President Sharon Waxman notes in her introduction to the 2017 Annual Public Report.
In early 2015, the FLA took a major step toward realizing long-standing organizational and affiliate commitments to ensure that workers in global supply chains earn fair compensation for their labor, as required by the FLA Workplace Code of Conduct. At its February 2015 meeting, the FLA Board of Directors unanimously approved implementation of the organization’s new Fair Compensation Work Plan, which began with the introduction of a comprehensive wage-data collection effort as part of the FLA’s 2015 factory and farm assessment cycle.
In 2014, the FLA experienced a year of restructuring, renewed commitment, and program advancement, overseen by a former country director for the International Labour Organization (ILO), who returned to the ILO after helping return the organization to financial health and stability. The Annual Public Report for 2014 demonstrates key ways the FLA advanced during this transitional year:
2013 was year of transition and recalibration for the FLA. While this report explains the challenges the FLA encountered in maintaining due diligence during 2013, it also reports the FLA's successes that year, such as the adoption of Principle 8 (covering responsible purchasing and production), the continued development of the Sustainable Compliance (SCI) methodology, and the implementation of a new fire-safety training program. 2013 culminated with the hiring of the new president of the FLA, Claudia Coenjaerts, who shares her vision for the future of the FLA as part of this report.
2012 was a year of tremendous growth for the Fair Labor Association, and the impact of its work could be felt at all corners of the world. Companies' efforts to promote and uphold FLA's labor standards in their product supply chains helped to improve conditions for workers everywhere - from farms in Cote d'Ivoire to electronics manufacturing facilities in China.
Towards Decent Working Conditions in Cotton Farms in Sanliurfa: A Lessons Learned Report
EA works with a supplier factory in Mexico to protect worker health and safety and remedy issues related to wages and benefits following an FLA assessment.
Acushnet Company works with supplier in Thailand to protect workers' rights to freedom of association following an FLA assessment.
Following an FLA assessment, VF Corporation works with supplier in El Salvador to ensure accurate compensation for overtime work.
adidas and Nike work with a Vietnamese apparel supplier to prevent forced labor, respect freedom of association, and protect the health and safety of the factory's 2,275 workers following an FLA assessment.