WASHINGTON – In a new report, the Fair Labor Association (FLA) outlines the findings of research to test interventions designed to protect workers in the supply chains of three affiliates. The evaluation, called a social impact assessment, included interventions executed by Nestlé and its two suppliers, Balsu and Olam, in the hazelnut supply chain in Turkey and identified the most effective at upholding workers’ rights.
From March 25 to 29, 2013, FLA provided training on the 12 dimensions of Fair Wages for Participating Company H&M in Guangzhou and Shanghai. Sixty-five participants from the sustainability and production teams joined the training and discussion.
On January 3 and 4, 2012, FLA hosted a training session in Shenzhen, China, for accredited monitoring organizations and others wishing to learn more about the Fair Wage Approach developed by Daniel Vaughn-Whitehead of the ILO. During the training, attendees debated the piece rate payment system that is widely used in Chinese factories. This system pays employees per garment produced and is often implemented because it seems transparent and easily understood by both workers and managers.
FLA’s research, assessments and surveys over the past two years confirm that excessive working hours have a negative impact on workers, often resulting in physical and psychological stress for workers and increased worker turnover. FLA surveys in China found that an estimated 50 percent of workers in the garment industry and 80 percent in electronics manufacturing work more than 60 hours per week, and an estimated 80 percent regularly work more than 7 days in a row. Even more alarming is the fact that 20 percent sometimes work more than 24 consecutive days without a day of rest.