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.
WASHINGTON – A study by the Fair Labor Association (FLA) and the Awaj Foundation finds that women in the ready-made garment manufacturing sector in Bangladesh do not receive legally required benefits, including paid maternity leave.
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 Fair Labor Association joined with six international organizations to call on the government of Bangladesh to improve and ensure worker safety in the Bangladeshi ready-made garment sector in a letter to the nation's prime minister.
Factory fires have killed thousands of workers all over the world for decades - even with today's advancements in technology and infrastructure, these tragedies continue to occur. Just last year, horrific fires in Bangladesh and Pakistan killed more than 400 factory workers. With the support of brands, factory managers and workers must be empowered to prevent fires and save lives.
Issues: In 2006, the FLA received a third party complaint from the Cambodia Industry Union Federation alleging that provisions of the FLA Workplace Code of Conduct guaranteeing freedom of association and health and safety were being ignored at the Great Lancelot factory in Phnom Penh.
The International Trade Center’s (ITC) Ethical Fashion Program supports the development of marginalized communities of women in Kenya and Uganda, mostly groups of artisans based in poor rural and urban settings. The program enables disadvantaged African communities and their groups of informal manufacturers to become part of the global supply chain, thus developing their export capacities and strengthening their position in both the domestic and regional markets. The project is based on a joint effort of the ITC and Ethical Fashion Africa Ltd. (EFAL), which is based in Nairobi.
On October 12, 2011, the Institute for Global Labour & Human Rights released a report alleging a number of noncompliances at the Style Avenue factory in El Salvador, including harassment or abuse and forced overtime. Two collegiate licensees registered with FLA – Outerstuff and College Kids – were sourcing from the factory at the time of this report. Outerstuff and College Kids commissioned FLA-accredited monitoring organization, GMIES, to investigate the allegations.
This is a guest post by Tammy Rodriguez, Esquel Group.