The world’s largest apparel makers and retailers have come to rely upon industry-backed programs like the FLA to monitor working standards in countries where labor abuses are common. The cutbacks now in motion could hurt the group’s ability to supervise the corporate supply chains currently on its roster, according to the non-profit’s employees.
FLA’s Multi-Stakeholder Approach to Improving Workers’ Lives
The products we buy should not come at the cost of workers’ rights. The Fair Labor Association believes that all goods should be produced fairly and ethically, and brings together three key constituencies – universities, civil society organizations (CSOs) and companies – to find sustainable solutions to systemic labor issues. Since 1999, FLA has helped improve workers’ lives by:
- Holding affiliated companies accountable for implementing FLA’s Code of Conduct across their supply chains.
- Conducting external assessments so that consumers can be assured of the integrity of the products they buy.
- Creating a space for CSOs to engage with companies and other stakeholders to find viable solutions to labor concerns.
Transparency is essential to upholding fair labor standards and protecting workers throughout product supply chains. If we don’t know what is happening behind the scenes in factories and on farms around the world, we cannot address the issues and make positive changes. As affiliates of FLA, companies agree to subject their supply chains to independent assessments and monitoring – the results of which are published here. This type of transparency helps consumers make more informed decisions about the products they buy and helps ensure brand accountability. There is no perfect brand or factory – labor issues are often identified even at the best facilities. FLA’s assessments lead to an open and honest dialogue about the conditions that workers face and facilitate swift action in consultation with workers’ groups, civil society organizations and others.