This section contains information about the six different initiatives that comprise Jo-In. By clicking on one of the six organizations below, you will be automatically directed to the information about the initiative. The information given below is subject to change (last update: May 2006).
Clean Clothes Campaign
Ethical Trade Initiative
Fair Labor Association
Fair Wear Foundation
Social Accountability International
Workers Rights Consortium
CLEAN CLOTHES CAMPAIGN (CCC)
What is the Clean Clothes Campaign?
The Clean Clothes Campaign (or the "CCC" as it is popularly called) aims to improve working conditions and to empower workers in the global garment industry, in order to end the oppression, exploitation and abuse of workers in this industry, most of whom are women. The CCC started in the Netherlands in 1990. At that time stores in the Netherlands were not taking any responsibility for the working conditions under which the clothes they sold were made. But they have come a long way since then. Now there are Clean Clothes Campaigns in twelve European countries. And now it“s more difficult to find retailers here who denounce this responsibility. Campaigners work together with organisations in a variety of countries, including those where garments are produced for the Europeen market, and in this way work together asa network to draw attention to labour rights issues in the garment industry.
What is the structure of the CCC?
The work of autonomous national platforms is coordinated by an international secretariat in Amsterdam. The Clean Clothes Campaigns in each country are coalitions of consumer organisations, trade unions, human rights and women rights organisations, researchers, solidarity groups and activists. Total membership is around 300 NGOs and trade unions. Every national campaign operates autonomously. However, they do work together towards international action. CCC works closely with network of international partners (NGOs, unions,individuals and institutions) in most countries where garments are produced.
What are the main objectives and activities of CCC?
- CCC use the CCC model code of conduct as a tool to raise awareness, pressure companies and to provide guidance for laws that can be adopted at the national level.
- The CCC has therefore four broad categories of activity that ultimately aim to move them closer to their main goals. More in depth, these areas of activity are:
- Putting pressure on companies to take responsibility to ensure that their products are made in decent working conditions. The CCC demands from retailers and brands that they adopt codes of labour practices based on ILO standards. The CCC also pressures companies to have a code that requires full implementation of the standards listed, regular monitoring of code compliance and verification of claims about code compliance. CCC also pressure them to adopt ethical buying practices -- for example in relation to pricing and scheduling -- otherwise their suppliers will not be able to enforce requests to improve workplace conditions. Besides making these demands for structural improvements, the CCC, through its urgent appeals system, also pressures companies to take action on individual instances of labour rights violations.
- Solidarity work to support workers, trade unions and NGOs, for example via actions based on urgent appeals. With this system we receive, verify, disseminate, and follow up on specific requests for assistance in cases of labour rights violations. The demands that we publicize and pursue are those made by the workers themselves -- they take the risks (in terms of safety and loss of jobs), therefore the CCC believes that they should set the strategy and make the decisions about if and how their case is presented to the brand name companies involved, the public, and the media.
- Raising awareness among and mobilizing citizens who buy clothes. Above all the Clean Clothes Campaign is a consumer campaign -- its strength comes from consumer power. The purchasing power of consumers is being mobilized on the issue of working conditions in the garment industry. Brand name companies compete intensely for consumer loyalty, and therefore consumers can influence how these companies operate. The CCC is a public campaign and harnesses the power of the people to push for positive social change. We gather information and present it to consumers in a variety of ways (educational programmes, demonstrations, ads, debates, books, rallies, internet) so that they know the truth about how clothes are produced (low wages, long hours, repression of trade union rights, sexual discrimination, etc.). Armed with this information we encourage citizens to pursue a variety of ways to take action to improve working conditions in the industry where the clothes they wear are made.
- Legal ways and lobbying. Most recently the campaign is exploring legal possibilities for improving working conditions (that includes for example investigating the possibilities for lawsuits against companies in their home countries for violations of labour rights in other countries) and lobbying for legislation that would promote good working conditions. The CCC believes that government has an important role in ensuring that good labour standards are enforced (in many countries where garments are produced there is good legislation, but enforcement is lax). The campaign is actively lobbying for laws that would compel governments to become ethical consumers. Governments -- at the local and national levels -- spend millions on uniforms, for example, and the CCC believes that these should all be produced in workplaces that respect workers“ rights.
For more information visit the CCC Website at http://www.cleanclothes.org/
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ETHICAL TRADE INITIATIVE (ETI)
The Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) is an alliance of companies, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and trade union organisations. They exist to promote and improve the implementation of corporate codes of practice which cover supply chain working conditions. Their ultimate goal is to ensure that the working conditions of workers producing for the UK market meet or exceed international labour standards.
Why Was ETI Set Up?
In the late 1990s, companies selling food and clothing to UK consumers were coming under increasing pressure from trade unions, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and consumers to ensure decent working conditions for the people who produce the goods they sell. Such companies typically responded by adopting a code of practice setting out minimum labour standards that they expect their suppliers to comply with.
But what should minimum labour standards cover? And how can they be implemented effectively? Many companies who adopted such codes soon found that they had neither the public credibility, nor the necessary experience and skills, to answer these questions alone. They realised they needed the backing of relevant civil society organisations, in particular of trade union organisations and NGOs with expertise in labour issues and overseas development.
With this need in mind, ETI was set up in 1998 to bring the combined knowledge and influence of relevant NGOs and the international trade union movement to work alongside these companies in identifying and promoting good practice in code implementation.
What are the aims of ETI and how does ETI work?
ETI aim to improve working conditions by promoting and improving code implementation. They do this in two main ways:
- Their NGO, trade union and corporate members work together to identify what constitutes good practice in code implementation, and then promote and share this good practice. They identify good practice mainly through their experimental projects and research, and they share this through publications, seminars and conferences, presentations at 3rd party events, and their Website. For example, they ran several experimental projects to identify what auditing methods work in different contexts, and they have shared that learning through project reports, the ETI Workbook, and various events.
- They encourage companies to adopt the ETI Base Code and implement it in their supply chains. They aim to influence corporate behaviour in this regard by:
- Getting new companies to join ETI. To become a member, the company must make a public commitment to adopt the ETI Base Code and to implement it in their supply chain. They have increased our corporate membership from 12 companies in 1998, to 37 at the end of 2004.
- Requiring all corporate members to submit annual progress reports on their code implementation activities. These reports show that significant code implementation activity has taken place, and that members suppliers are making concrete improvements to labour practices.
- Evoking, where necessary, their procedure for disengaging poor performers. For companies who are not meeting membership requirements, ETI meet with senior representatives of the company to agree an improvement plan and a deadline for implementing it. Companies who fail to implement such an improvement plan may ultimately be asked to leave ETI.
Who are the ETI’s members?
ETI has three types of members – companies, trade union organisations and non-governmental organisations – all of whom are actively involved in all levels of ETI’s work. The variety of members, and the unparalleled breadth of experience they bring, mean that ETI is uniquely qualified to define good practice in the implementation of labour codes.
- Corporate(company) members include both retailers and suppliers who source and/or sell food, clothing and other products in UK markets. They have a combined annual turnover of over £100 billion.
- Trade union members are umbrella organisations which co-ordinate the work of their affiliates. Together they represent more than 157 million workers worldwide in every country where free trade unions can operate.
- NGO members include large and small development and human rights organisations operating in the UK. They have knowledge and expertise on workers’ rights, human rights and social development issues in Asia, Africa, Central America and Europe. They work with many local organisations, including labour groups, in all these regions and are committed to ensuring that key stakeholders in the South have a voice in both developing and monitoring labour codes.
Company members of ETI
Asda, Bewley“s, Chiquita International Brands, DCC Corporate Clothing, Debenhams Retail, Dewhirst Group, Ethical Tea Partnership, Flamingo Holdings, Fyffes Group, Gap Inc, Greencell, Inditex, Levi Strauss & Co, Madison Hosiery, Marks and Spencer, Marshalls, Monsoon, Mothercare, New Look Retailers, Next, Pentland Group, Premier Foods,Quantum Clothing, Ringtons, Rohan Designs, Rombouts GB, Sainsbury“s Supermarkets, Somerfield Stores, Tesco, The Body Shop International, The Boots Group, The Co-operative group (CWS), Union Coffee Roasters, WH Smith, WIBEDCO, William Lamb Footwear, World Flowers.
Member Trade unions
International Confederation of Free Trade Unions(ICFTU), International Textile, Garment and Leather Workers“ Federation(ITGLWF), International Union of Foodworkers, Trades Union Congress.
Africa Now, Anti-Slavery International, CAFOD, CARE International UK, Central American Women“s Network, Christian Aid, Fairtrade Foundation, Home Workers Worldwide, National Group on Homeworking, Oxfam, Quaker Peace and Social Witness, Save the Children, Traidcraft Exchange, Twin Trading, War on Want, Women Working Worldwide.
For more information visit the ETI Website at http://www.ethicaltrade.org/
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FAIR LABOR ASSOCIATION (FLA)
Who is FLA?
The Fair Labor Association (FLA) is a non-profit organization combining the efforts of industry, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), colleges and universities to promote adherence to international labor standards and improve working conditions worldwide. The FLA initiative is designed to complement international and national efforts to promote respect for labor rights.
Why the FLA?
The growth of the global economy has outstripped the mechanisms for regulating labor rights around the world. In principle, governments should adopt ILO Conventions and incorporate them into national labor laws enforced by labor inspectors. Trade unions and employers should negotiate collective agreements to fix wages and working conditions at sectoral or firm level and workers should have recourse to internal grievance procedures or external labor tribunals. In practice however, many of these protections have broken down. The FLA initiative is designed to complement international and national efforts to promote respect for labor rights.
How does FLA work?
- Accredits, selects, and hires monitors to conduct unannounced independent external monitoring visits to ensure that the FLA’s Workplace Standards are upheld in factories around the world where FLA company products are produced;
- Provides, through public reporting, consumers and shareholders with credible information to make responsible buying decisions;
- Publishes on the FLA website annual overviews of company compliance efforts, as well as reports on factory monitoring findings and company remediation efforts;
- Explores ways to systematically address endemic workplace problems through special projects and pilot studies.
Who are the participants of FLA?
The FLA represents a multi-stakeholder coalition of companies, universities and NGOs. There are currently 19 leading brand-name companies participating in the FLA. These are adidas-Salomon, Asics, Eddie Bauer, Drew Pearson Marketing, GEAR for Sports, Gildan Activewear, Liz Claiborne, Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC), New Era Cap, Nordstrom, Nike, Outdoor Cap, Patagonia, Phillips-Van Heusen, PUMA, Reebok, Top of the World, Twins Enterprise, and Zephyr Graf-X. These companies have committed to a rigorous program of Workplace Standards implementation, monitoring and remediation in order to bring their manufacturing sites into compliance with FLA standards. They produce in more than 3400 factories in 81 countries, with sales totaling $30 billion.
Colleges and universities join the FLA to promote fair and decent conditions in the production of goods bearing their logo. To date, there are over 192 colleges and universities affiliated with the FLA. These schools require their licensees to participate in the FLA licensee program.
Human and labor rights advocates and organizations continue to play an integral role in the FLA system. The NGO Advisory Council of the FLA, coordinated by the Human Rights First, facilitates the involvement of local and international NGOs to help ensure that the implementation of Codes of Conduct ultimately results in worker empowerment and the meaningful protection of workers“ rights.
FAIR WEAR FOUNDATION (FWF)
What is FWF?
Fair Wear Foundation aims to promote humane labour conditions in the garment industry. Garments for the Dutch European market are often produced in low-wage countries. Too often, these cheap garments are produced under unacceptable labour conditions.
Fair Wear Foundation is an initiative of business associations in the garment sector, trade unions, and NGOs. FWF was founded in The Netherlands, but is currently working hard to join similar initiatives in a European initiative. To that aim, FWF is consulting with stakeholders at a European level and in neighbouring countries: companies, unions, and NGOs.
History of FWF
Fair Wear Foundation was founded in 1999. Just as in other countries, garment production in The Netherlands had by then been displaced to low-wage countries.
After some years of campaigning against poor labour conditions in low-wage countries, the union FNV and the CCC contacted the employers’ organisations and proposed a joint initiative to improve labour condition in the garment sector.
The founders designed the Code of Labour Practices for the Garment Industry. They aligned the code to the model codes of the international Clean Clothes Campaign and the ICFTU (the international umbrella organisation of trade unions, of which the FNV is a member).
In the period 1999 – 2002, the Foundation carried out pilot projects on the implementation of the code of labour practices with four Dutch companies. These experiences led to the determination of a standard procedure.
Building up membership among companies was the next step. The first group of 11 members was announced to the public in March 2003. This group comprised partly fashion producers and partly producers of industrial workwear.
FWF distinguished itself with the top 4 Dutch suppliers of work wear. This opened the possibility for other users of work wear, such as governments and industrial and service industries, to purchase “clean clothes”.
Leading producers in the field of fashion have also joined FWF. In the meantime, FWF developed its verification mechanism. For example, we worked with local partners in countries where garments were produced for the members. We also carried out background studies on labour in the garment sector in those countries, and trained audit teams.
FWF has been fully operational since 2003 as an organisation for verifying code implementation.
How does the FWF work?
The Fair Wear Foundation works with the Code of Labour Practices for the Garment Industry. Member companies endorse this code. In doing so, they commit themselves to auditing labour conditions in their factories against the provisions of the code and to implementing improvements, where necessary.
The code contains eight internationally respected labour standards; these need to be implemented in the factories step-by-step. The factories are mostly located in Asia, Eastern Europe, and North Africa.
The Fair Wear Foundation verifies whether member companies actually implement the code of labour practices. For this purpose, the FWF uses a set of four instruments. Verification by the FWF guarantees that member companies actually improve labour conditions when necessary. Because:
- The FWF was founded and is administered by a broad group of social organisations. They vouch for the quality of our work.
- FWF has expertise in the field of audits, partnerships with local organisations, interviewing employees, and labour issues in production countries.
How FWF is organised?
Fair Wear Foundation is an independent organisation. FWF is not dominated by business interests. The independence of the foundation is guaranteed by a board on which prominent organisations are represented. These organisations are from the garment industry, unions and NGOs. They are involved in labour issues in the garment industry in various ways.
The board and the staff of FWF are supported by a Committee of Experts. This advisory committee comprises the same broad spectrum of organisations as the board. The staff of FWF carries out policy and reports to the board.
Member companies of FWF
Becoming a member of FWF emphasises the importance companies assign to corporate social responsibility at a high level, and the practicable ways they demonstrate their commitment.
Members follow the standard “Code of Labour Practices in the Garment Industry” which:
- Contains internationally-acknowledged labour standards;
- Obliges them to check labour conditions in the whole supply chain of all the factories they purchase from;
- Requires agreement that FWF checks whether the code of conduct is implemented.
Who are the current company members?
Among the members of FWF there are well-known brands. FWF is also strongly represented among suppliers of work wear.
Fashion and sports: Expresso, GsusHess, Natur, Falcon, O’Neill.
Company and promotional wear: Bucofa, Faithful, Groenendijk, HaVeP, Heigo, Joh. Steenkist – Schijfsma, Kwintet KLM Kleding N.V., Mauritz & Zn., Mervin Marxx, Pama International, PWG Bedrijfskleding, SGA, Vaweco.
Who are the organisations represented on the FWF’s board?
Garment Industry: Mitex, Modint
Unions: FNV Bondgenoten, FNV Mondiaal
NGOs: Wereld Winkel, CCC, Novib(Oxfam Netherlands)
For more information visit the FWF Website at http ://www.fairwear.nl/
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Social Accountability International (SAI)
Who is SAI?
SAI is a non-governmental, international, multi-stakeholder organization dedicated to improving workplaces and communities by developing and implementing socially responsible standards.
SAI convenes key stakeholders to develop consensus-based voluntary standards, conducts cost-benefit research, accredits auditors, provides training and technical assistance, and assists corporations in improving social compliance in their supply chains.
In 1997, SAI launched SA8000 (Social Accountability 8000) – a voluntary standard for workplaces, based on ILO and UN conventions – which is currently used by businesses and governments around the world and is recognized as one of the strongest workplace standards.
SA8000 certified facilities are located in 45 countries and across 50 industries.
SAI partners with trade unions, local NGOs, multi-stakeholder initiatives, organic, fair trade,and environmental organizations, development charities, and anti-corruption groups to carry out research, training and capacity-building programs.
What Does SAI Do?
The SA8000 solution is designed to ensure compliance with the highest ethical sourcing standards by integrating management tools that serve the needs of workers and businesses alike. SA8000 functions for delivering improved social performance to businesses and their supply chain facilities.
- Convenes key stakeholders to build and continually refine consensus-based ethical workplace standards
- Accredits qualified organizations to verify compliance with these standards
- Promotes the understanding and implementation of social performance standards worldwide
How does SAI work?
SAI works with an array of stakeholders, who are instrumental in the ever-continuing effort to improve and implement the SA8000 system. Our approach cannot be effective unless every key stakeholder has a “say” with regard to its evolution. Therefore, SAI works with companies ((International brands such as Chiquita, Dole, Gap Ltd, Timberland, Avon Products and Co-op Italia; ), consumer groups, non-governmental organizations (NGOs like Amnesty International and C.A.R.E.), labor organizations (which currently include a total of 15 million workers in their ranks), governmental agencies, and certification bodies around the world. SAI accredits the certification bodies for SA8000 auditing to ensure that workers receive the just and humane treatment they deserve. SA8000 incorporates third-party monitoring for credible verification, and has built-in management systems to minimize ethical sourcing risk, increase worker efficiency and productivity, and sustainably enhance a company’s or facility’s social performance record.
SAI Programs to Advance Social Accountability
Research and Development: Drafting and revising of social accountability standards, guidelines for the independent verification of compliance, examples of good practices and the costs and benefits of certification.
Accreditation: SAI licenses qualified auditors to certify workplace compliance with social accountability standards. SAI regularly audits the auditors. It does not audit factories or farms.
Improvement of Auditing Effectiveness: Constant review of the auditing process; an open complaints and appeals system; regional roundtables to review auditing challenges and share best practices; and fostering greater involvement by NGOs and trade unions.
Training and Technical Assistance: Training of auditors, workers, managers and suppliers. SAI certifies individual auditors and helps companies in the implementation process by providing training and information.
Outreach and Alliance Building: Working with trade unions, businesses, NGOs, governments and international agencies to improve SAI systems through pilot audits, regional workshops, conferences and corporate commitment programs. Harmonize SA8000 with other standards through mutual recognition and joint auditing.
What is the SAI Governance Structure?
SAI is managed by a Board of Directors that has fiduciary responsibility for the general management of the property, funds, budget, affairs and business of SAI.
Under SAI’s bylaws (the “Bylaws”), the Board of Directors must be composed of not less than three and not more than seven directors. Current members of the Board of Directors include SAI’s legal counsel, SAI’s President, one person from the SA8000 Advisory Board, one person who is an administrator of a larger NGO, and two more persons with financial expertise.
For more information visit the SAI website at http://www.sa-intl.org/
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Worker Rights Consortium(WRC)
What is WRC?
The Worker Rights Consortium (WRC) is a non-profit organization created by college and university administrations, students and labor rights experts. The WRC“s purpose is to assist in the enforcement of manufacturing Codes of Conduct adopted by colleges and universities; these Codes are designed to ensure that factories producing clothing and other goods bearing college and university names respect the basic rights of workers. There are more than 114 colleges and universities affiliated with the WRC.
What are the main objectives and activities of the WRC?
- Keep their affiliate colleges and universities informed about conditions in the factories producing the goods that bear their names and logos;
- Work with their affiliates to end worker rights violations wherever they are identified;
- Raise public awareness about workplace conditions in apparel and other industries;
- Educate workers about their rights under college and university Codes of Conduct, and
- Through all of these efforts, help workers gain greater respect for their rights and real improvements in their conditions of work.
How does WRC work?
The WRC works with labor rights experts in the United States and around the world to investigate factory conditions. They report their findings to colleges and universities and the general public. All reports of factory investigations are made public on the WRC website. Where violations are uncovered, the WRC works with colleges and universities, U.S.-based retail corporations and local workers and organizations to correct the problem and improve conditions.
The WRC is also developing a mechanism to ensure that workers producing collegiate goods can lodge complaints about Code of Conduct violations, safely and confidentially, by contacting local non-governmental organizations and the WRC.
The WRC maintains and makes available on its website a comprehensive, interactive, up-to-date database of factory names and locations for all factories producing goods for WRC schools as reported by licensees.
The WRC has built solid working relationships with a number of the most important collegiate licensees. In all cases where WRC assessments have led to successful remediation, licensees have played a central role in the progress made toward better conditions in these production facilities.
The WRC strongly encourages licensees to stay and work to correct violations at problem factories. The WRC views “cutting and running” from a factory as a serious abrogation of a licensee’s responsibilities. If licensees understand that colleges and universities will not accept a “cut and run” approach, they will have a strong incentive to fix problems.
What is the governance structure of WRC?
WRC is governed by a 15-member Governing Board, including five representatives of university administrations elected by the University Caucus, five representatives of United Students Against Sweatshops and five representatives of the WRC Advisory Council. The Governing Board members are elected for fixed terms by each constituency group.
There are no industry representatives on the WRC Governing Board. The WRC believes that there is an important role to be played by monitoring organizations that operate independently of the apparel industry itself. The WRC therefore decided to maintain independence from licensees in terms of organizational governance and funding, while engaging in constructive dialogue and cooperation with licensees in the course of our work.
For more information visit the WRC website at http://www.workersrights.org/
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