Viet Nam plays an important role in the apparel and footwear sector, and at the time of the launch of this project, was the second-largest country of production for FLA Participating Companies. In 2011, 355 suppliers employing more than 800,000 workers manufactured products for FLA Participating Companies in Viet Nam.
On April 11, 2012, FLA and the Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry launched an initiative funded by the U.S. Department of State to provide technical assistance and guidance to improve working conditions and social compliance programs at 50 apparel and footwear factories in Vietnam. VCCI is implementing the project in collaboration with FLA, the Ministry of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs, and the Vietnam General Confederation of Labor.
Through this project, VCCI and FLA worked to increase the capacity of factories in Hanoi, Thai Binh, Hai Duong, Dong Nai, Long An, and Binh Duong, assessing, analyzing, and attempting to improve their compliance programs. The project was based on FLA’s approach to sustainable compliance, which shifts the focus from “snapshot” auditing of factories to identifying and remediating root causes of labor rights risks throughout the supply chain. The project included training for factory management on how to identify compliance gaps at the factory and how to develop corrective action plans for both the short- and long-term.
Ultimately, the Vietnam Project focused on three key and inter-related components of a functioning social compliance program: successful labor relations between workers and management, reasonable hours of work, and fair compensation for a regular workweek. The project concluded in December 2014.