Six Apparel Companies Earn Fair Labor Accreditation

Six Apparel Companies Earn Fair Labor Accreditation

The Fair Labor Association (FLA) has voted to accredit six of its member companies' compliance programs, signifying that each company is in substantial compliance with FLA requirements to implement a rigorous workplace code of conduct in factories making the company's products.

The compliance programs of adidas-Salomon, Eddie Bauer, Liz Claiborne, Inc., Nike, Phillips-Van Heusen, and Reebok apparel received accreditation following an extensive performance review based upon independent factory monitoring and verification reports of supplier facilities conducted by accredited external monitors, and a thorough audit of the required monitoring protocols, training programs and auditing systems in their programs.

"Accreditation in simple terms means accountability and verification. FLA's purpose is to cultivate a culture of respect for workers and we do this by holding companies accountable to the workplace code of conduct," said Auret van Heerden, FLA President and Chief Executive Officer. "Collectively these companies are responsible for consumer products made in 2,800 factories in 62 countries. Each of them has worked hard to establish a workplace standards program that complies with the FLA's considerable requirements. We hope that consumers and others interested in the programs of these companies will consult the FLA's first two annual reports and the tracking charts which report on the monitoring of factories by the FLA's accredited independent external monitors (available through the FLA Web site) and will also look for the FLA's third annual report due for publication later this year."

Adele Simmons, chair of the board of directors, noted that accredited programs are reviewed for re-accreditation every two years. "No participating company ever stops implementing its compliance program, and the FLA never stops evaluating them," Simmons said.

"Accreditation is an important milestone, and we congratulate the companies that have achieved this distinction, but we now look to them to achieve even higher levels of compliance and to play leadership roles in an effort to lead further development of conditions for factory workers around the world."

FLAis a non-profit organization that combines the efforts of industry, non-governmental organizations, colleges and universities to promote adherence to international labor standards and improve working conditions worldwide. The FLA Workplace Code of Conduct specifies compliance with forced labor, child labor, harassment, abuse, nondiscrimination, health and safety, freedom of association and collective bargaining, wages and benefits, hours of work, and overtime compensation.

The Board of the FLA consists of representatives of companies, NGOs, and universities. When the Board finds a company's workplace standards program to be in substantial compliance with FLA requirements, it achieves the designation, Fair Labor Association Accredited Compliance Program.SM Participating companies have the choice of seeking accreditation after either a two- or three-year initial implementation period. This is the second year FLA has accredited programs. Reebok's footwear compliance program, which elected a two-year initial implementation period, last year became the first program to achieve accreditation.