The World Health Organization declared the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), first reported in Wuhan, China, in December 2019, a global pandemic on March 11, 2020. The impact of the pandemic is unprecedented in modern history. Nations, businesses, and communities face public health, medical, economic, and political considerations as they end the spread of the virus. One essential consideration is the protection of factory and farm workers.
The Fair Labor Association and ASN Bank announced today a project that will advance wage data collection and analysis as a foundational step toward securing fair compensation for workers in the garment sector. The collaboration includes a commitment of 15,000 euros by ASN Bank to support the development of the FLA’s fair compensation dashboard, which incorporates living wage benchmarks.
A report released today by the Fair Labor Association demonstrates that garment workers in Bangladesh are earning poverty-level wages, often while relying upon excessive hours of overtime to lift their earnings toward a living wage.
At its February 2015 meeting, the FLA Board of Directors unanimously approved the implementation of the FLA Fair Compensation Work Plan, upon the recommendation of the Monitoring Committee.
This approval was accompanied by an amendment that calls for the FLA president to bring forward recommendations by the June Board meeting to "revise the plan to: 1) take appropriate, meaningful actions, where reasonable, to implement the plan at an accelerated pace, and 2) make relevant accountability measures more concrete."
Workers are the ones most exposed and vulnerable when market conditions push companies and suppliers to reduce employment, of either a portion or the entire workforce. Many countries legally mandate payment of severance - typically calculated based on job tenure - when partial or full retrenchments arise, but there is generally no requirement in domestic law to create a fund to ensure that the factory is able to meet its severance liabilities.
On July 24, 2012, the Fair Labor Association Board of Directors adopted a resolution to place Participating Supplier Hey Tekstil Sanayi ve Ticaret A.S. (“Hey Tekstil”) on Special Review.
As outlined in the FLA Charter, an affiliated company may be placed on Special Review if it fails to achieve or maintain compliance with FLA labor standards, and a company’s affiliation status may be terminated if the company does not address the issues prompting Special Review status.
In 2012, the Indonesian government increased minimum wages across the country. These increases range from three to 30 percent, depending on the province, with the most significant change seen in Kota Tangerang and Kabupaten Tangerang: 30.39 percent and 30.93 percent, respectively.
Issues: A 2009 follow-up visit by FLA assessor revealed that a factory producing sports shoes for Nike in India had set an annual limit for bonus qualification at Rs. 3,500. This was well below the legal amount of Rs. 10,000. The factory employed 1,563 people.
Solutions: FLA assessors verified that the bonus qualification was raised to Rs. 10,000 (approximately $200), and a notice was posted to inform workers of the change.
Issues: FLA assessors discovered that pregnant women were working nine hours per day - more than the legal limit - during a 2005 factory visit. Additionally, the factory's on-site crèche, or daycare facility for children, was not functioning.
Representatives of major brands, the Chinese Government, and the Fair Labor Association (FLA) gathered in Beijing on January 8 to discuss a new book examining wage trends at the global level. The book, Fair Wages – Strengthening Corporate Social Responsibility, sheds light on wage inequalities and unfairness facing workers around the world. It was authored by Dr. Daniel Vaughan-Whitehead, professor of corporate social responsibility at Sciences Po in Paris, who is responsible for wage practices at the International Labour Organization (ILO).