JO-IN Remediations Phase begins
In late February, JO-IN began the series of meetings, consultations, plannings and negotiations which will make up its 'Remediations Phase'. Having assessed, in the previous 'Assessments Phase', the state of specific workers' rights at the 6 Turkish suppliers which are participating in the Project, the JO-IN focus now shifts to what can be done to improve (or 'remediate') the situation, through an all-stakeholder collaboration. The focus of the improvement efforts will be JO-IN's key focus areas: Freedom of Association, Wages, and Hours of Work.
The Remediations process has 4 distinct steps:
1. Meetings 1 x 1 with the 6 participant suppliers to explain the envisaged Remediations process, and to note any final suplplier inputs on the Assessments Phase;
2. Follow-up meetings with the 6 suppliers to hear what their proposals are for improving the workplaces they control, so that they can meet their commitments to observe the JO-IN Code of Conduct on Wages, Working Hours and Freedom of association.
3. 'Meeting 3' will be the moment when JO-IN stakeholders table their joint proposals as to how each of the 6 participating suppliers should proceed, in the light of the suppliers' own suggestions tabled earlier.
4. At 'Meeting 4' JO-IN will seek to reach broad agreement and draft a 'remediations plan' which will set out what each supplier will try to achieve over the next 6 months, by way of improvement.
The results of each substantive step will be fed back to the range of JO-IN stakeholders for their comment and inputs, to maintain the inclusive and collaborative character of the Project. At time of writing (end April), steps 1 and 2 had been concluded.
International Advisory Panel (IAP) progress
During the March/April period under review, the JO-IN IAP convened a second and third time, using the 2 tele-meetings to agree an amended constitution and to set the practical agenda for their role in JO-IN. Having first absorbed the voluminous JO-IN documentation, and familiarized themselves with recent developments, the IAP proposed a joint face-to-face meeting with the JO-IN Steering Committee at the earliest possible opportunity. This meeting is now set down for May 14.
Key issues for discussion will include:
· Developments in the global context which relate to workplace Codes of Conduct.
(e.g. since JO-IN was mooted in 2002, what has changed about Codes and their implementation - and why?)
· How the emerging lessons from the JO-IN Project might be envisaged as impacting this global context (e.g. would the JO-IN experiment in Turkey - or specific elements of it - be replicable elsewhere, and if so, where should this happen? What happens in Turkey when JO-IN leaves at the end of the JO-IN Project?)
JO-IN convenes International Consultation/Conference in Istanbul for May 15
April 3: In line with the 'Roadmap' adopted by the JO-IN Steering Committee in early February, JO-IN has convened a one-day International Consultation/Conference at Bosphorus University in Istanbul for May 15. Attending this 'by invitation' event will be the JO-IN Turkish Local Working Group (Brands, brands' suppliers, industry associations, government, trade unions, NGOs), JO-IN Turkey Office staff, and associated academics/researchers. International invitees will include the IAP, the Steering Committee, other brands Head Office personnel from JO-IN MSI-linked brands that source from JO-IN-participating Turkish suppliers, and donor-bodies that have funded the JO-IN Project's work.
The Agenda addresses the key JO-IN focus areas (Freedom of Association, Wages and Hours of Work) from a macro perspective, e.g.
o What are the Freedom of Association Challenges for Turkey that emerge from the JO-IN Assessments, given the gaps between Turkish labour laws and International standards?
o What international examples can inform the effort to respond to these gaps, and how would such a response be structured in the Turkish context? What positive Turkish experiences can be factored in?
o How Brands' purchasing practices within current global supply chain dynamics can affect Wages and Hours of workers.
As befits a Consultation, the emphasis of the day will be towards as much participation as possible, and considerable program time is allocated to Q & A, discussion and breakouts.
JO-IN Steering Committee begins the JO-IN Project evaluation process
As part of its 2-day meeting in Istanbul mid-May, the JO-IN Steering Committee will be opening the Final Phase of the Project, even as the penultimate (Remediations) phase gets under way simultaneuosly. The Final Phase - essentially an extended period of reflection - will conclude with the end-Conference late in 2007, and the write-up of the Project findings in the form of a Final Report and 'Guidelines' (i.e. the learnings of the Project as applicable elsewhere and/or by other actors.)
Under scrutiny during this Phase will be
Ø the extent and quality of the collaboration amongst the 6 JO-IN member organizations over the 4-5 year Project period;
Ø the actual improvements in Freedom of Association, Wages and Hours of Work being achieved at the 6 participating supplier companies in Turkey;
Ø any other positive or negative developments, processes or outcomes, such as
- the significance of the Turkish Local Working Group
- the methodology of the JO-IN assessments
- research into the Turkish garment industry supply chain's lower echelons, and into the functioning of complaints systems available to Turkish workers i.r.o. workplace grievances