The Factory Floor Guide to Corporate Accountability: Seeking redress for labour rights violations in global supply chains | Labor Rights | International Labour Organization

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The purpose of this toolkit is to provide support to workers and worker organisations who are employed or operate within global supply chains and have had difficulty achieving fulfilment of their rights through local or national means of redress alone. It aims to complement, but not replace, local advocacy by providing some basic information about how workers can use corporate accountability strategies to enhance their campaigns. To address the real causes of inequality and injustice, workers must have a say on corporate accountability and human rights at the international level. This toolkit gives workers and labour organisations resources to combine their local experience, knowledge and networks with international advocacy strategies to strengthen their voice on the issues that impact upon them the most.
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  The factory floor guide to corporateaccountability  SEEKING REDRESS FOR LABOUR RIGHTS VIOLATIONS IN GLOBAL SUPPLY CHAINS.  Acknowledgements The authors would like to acknowledge and thank the many organisations and individuals who provided advice in the preparation of this publication. In particular, we wish to thank, Fairfood International, Maquila Solidarity Network, the Clean Clothes Campaign, Oxfam Australia, Oxfam Indonesia, Oxfam Great Britain and Oxfam America. Published: September 2012Authors: Sarah Rennie and Nicholas Whyte Proof-reader: Jez Hunghanfoo Illustrator: Antony Kraus Design:  Tania Foot Print production: Meabh Friel and Fidia Wati  02The Factory Floor Guide to Corporate Accountability Preface: Upholding workers’ rights in a global economy  The United Nations (UN) Framework for Business and Human Rights states that all businesses have a responsibility to respect, protect and remedy the human rights of individuals and communities impacted by their business operations. As part of this responsibility, businesses must ensure that women and men employed in their workplaces and supply chains can access their basic employment rights. These rights are contained in International Labour Organization (ILO) and UN human rights conventions, and include the right to form unions and engage in collective bargaining, the right to safe and decent working conditions and the right to a decent wage.Yet global employment statistics paint a picture of hardship and increasing insecurity. Close to 40% of the world’s workers and their families live on less than US$2 a day, while more than 50% lack secure employment. Women are particularly over-represented in insecure and low paid forms of work. In export-oriented manufacturing sectors, women are usually the first to lose their jobs, despite devastating impacts for their families. Unsafe working conditions remain a serious problem — the ILO estimates that accidents and diseases at work cause 2 million fatalities every year.Holding businesses to account when workers’ rights are violated is not easy. In many parts of the world economic inequality, paired with weak or corrupt law enforcement, make it very difficult for workers to seek justice. Workers who attempt to organise for fairer working conditions risk intimidation, discrimination, unfair dismissal, false incrimination and in some cases violence.The lasting solution to this problem lies in ensuring that workers’ human rights, and particularly their freedom to organise, are upheld by national laws and enforced by local authorities. However, in most places, there is still a long way to go towards ensuring that businesses take full responsibility for the treatment of their employees. In the short term, many workers whose rights are violated must use creative strategies to put pressure on both the companies and authorities who are responsible for the fulfilment of their rights.For workers who are employed by companies within multinational supply chains, approaching influential international buyers or investors can be an effective way to achieve fulfilment of their rights. Many global companies, together with their investors, generate huge profits by outsourcing manufacturing to regions with low labour costs. But as the UN framework stipulates, these companies cannot outsource their responsibility to respect the human rights of workers employed in their overseas supply chains.The purpose of this toolkit is to provide support to workers and worker organisations who are employed or operate within global supply chains and have had difficulty achieving fulfilment of their rights through local or national means of redress alone. It aims to complement, but not replace, local advocacy by providing some basic information about how workers can use corporate accountability strategies to enhance their campaigns.To address the real causes of inequality and injustice, workers must have a say on corporate accountability and human rights at the international level. This toolkit gives workers and labour organisations resources to combine their local experience, knowledge and networks with international advocacy strategies to strengthen their voice on the issues that impact upon them the most.  03The Factory Floor Guide to Corporate Accountability PREFACE: UPHOLDING WORKERS’ RIGHTS IN A GLOBAL ECONOMY  ................................................................................ 2OXFAM’S EXPERIENCE IN LABOUR RIGHTS  .............................................................................................................................. 4PURPOSE OF THIS TOOLKIT  ............................................................................................................................................................ 5BACKGROUND  ...................................................................................................................................................................................... 6GENERAL TIPS FOR LABOUR RIGHTS  .......................................................................................................................................... 7 Understanding and managing risks in your campaign .......................................................................................................................8Ensuring an inclusive approach ............................................................................................................................................................8 CAMPAIGNING FOR YOUR RIGHTS AT WORK: A STEP BY STEP GUIDE  ............................................................................. 9 STEP ONE:  Local advocacy action ..........................................................................................................................................................9 STEP TWO:  Preparing to go global — Researching brands and supply chains ...............................................................................10 STEP THREE:  Writing a letter of complaint to brand/international corporation .............................................................................11 STEP FOUR:  Establish international campaign networks ..................................................................................................................14 STEP FIVE:  Lodge a complaint with international corporate accountability redress mechanisms .............................................15 STEP SIX: Using public pressure to achieve positive change ..........................................................................................................17Contacting the media ...........................................................................................................................................................................17Using the media — a step-by-step guide .........................................................................................................................................18 1.  Before contacting the media: ...................................................................................................................................................18 2. Contacting the media — writing a media release...................................................................................................................18 3. During an Interview: ....................................................................................................................................................................19Using social media and public petitions ............................................................................................................................................19Where to now? Evaluating your campaign .........................................................................................................................................20 Resource List  ................................................................................................................................................................................ 21 Labour Rights Conventions and Frameworks  ..................................................................................................................................... 21Corporate Accountability Mechanisms  ............................................................................................................................................... 21Global Labour Rights and Corporate Accountability Organisations  ................................................................................................. 22Company codes of conduct  .................................................................................................................................................................26 Appendices  ...................................................................................................................................................................................... 27 Appendix 1 —   Sample letter to a multinational company ................................................................................................................27 Appendix 2 —   Case chronology template ...........................................................................................................................................29 Appendix 3 —   Sample media release ..................................................................................................................................................32 Appendix 4 —   Glossary .........................................................................................................................................................................33 CONTENTS
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