2011 Annual Public Report

This year the civil society organizations, universities and companies affiliated with FLA made strides in their efforts to improve workers’ lives, laying the foundation for the organization’s next chapter of impact and growth. In June, for example, FLA’s Board of Directors approved a number of enhancements to the FLA Workplace Code of Conduct for the first time since its adoption in 1999. Working together over the course of nearly three years, FLA stakeholders developed substantive improvements to the FLA Code. The Board’s approval of the revised Code signaled a major milestone that these groups accomplished together, and was a significant achievement for FLA and for all of the workers we strive to protect.

FLA also made substantial progress in the development and testing of its Sustainable Compliance (SCI) methodology this year. While traditional audits focus on quick fixes, SCI identifies the root causes of noncompliances and risks, and offers recommendations for longterm improvement. Taken with the revised Code of Conduct, SCI will significantly strengthen protections for workers’ rights around the world.

Over the years, it has become clear that factory visits or assessments are meaningless without candid and substantial input from the workers whose lives are impacted by the decisions made by factory and brand managers. That’s why, in addition to continuing to conduct on- and offsite interviews with workers, we have integrated large-scale worker perception surveys into the FLA monitoring program. This year, assessors surveyed anonymously more than 11,000 workers in 89 factories in China, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Guatemala, and the Dominican Republic. Through these surveys, workers provide unfiltered, uncensored insight into the working conditions that affect their lives every day.

Excerpt from the President’s Message