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 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.
In December of 2016 the Fair Labor Association (FLA) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) jointly hosted a roundtable meeting in Istanbul, Turkey to discuss the challenges and opportunities of integrating Syrian refugees into the Turkish labor market. The roundtable attracted 120 participants from international brands sourcing from Turkey, local manufacturers, international and local trade unions, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), workers’ rights organizations, municipalities, and representatives from Turkish Ministry of Labor & Social Security and the Ministry of the Interior.
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.
This is a guest post from fire safety expert Dr. David Gold, a former firefighter, previously with the International Labour Organization (ILO).
On October 17, FLA hosted the latest meeting of the Americas Group (AG), which was founded in February 2011 as the MFA Forum Americas Committee concluded its efforts. The Americas Group is a multi-stakeholder forum of brands, initiatives like FLA, the global union for the garment sector – IndustriALL – and other civil society organizations. Members of the AG work together to promote and support globally competitive and socially responsible apparel and footwear industries in the Americas.
This is a guest post by Piera Waibel, Global Manager for FLA’s agriculture program.
The World Cocoa Foundation organized the 22nd Partnership Meeting & Roundtable Sessions in collaboration with the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs SECO on October 24-25, 2012 in Zurich.
FLA joins representatives from other nonprofit organizations, trade unions, the apparel industry and others in calling for an end to forced child labor in Uzbekistan. Read more from the Cotton Campaign.
The Fair Labor Association has called for a full investigation into the tragic death of Bangladeshi labor rights activist Aminul Islam. We commend Aminul’s courage and are deeply saddened by his death.
Worker rights’ advocates play a critical role in shining the light on inhumane working conditions in factories around the world. Aminul at the Bangladeshi Center for Worker Solidarity (BCWS), along with other labor rights advocates, have suffered intimidation, harassment and abuse for their work supporting garment workers. This is unacceptable and must end.