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Electronics Industry Pilots Factory Worker Protection Program in Malaysia

EICC Developing Grievance Mechanisms for Foreign Migrant Electronics Workers Worldwide

Published 08-26-15

Submitted by Responsible Business Alliance

The Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition (EICC), a nonprofit coalition of leading electronics companies dedicated to supply chain responsibility, today announced the launch of a foreign migrant worker protection pilot program that aims to improve communications in electronics factories by providing workers with more effective ways to report issues related to social, environmental and ethical responsibility. The name of the program is Suara Kita, which is Malay for "Our Voice."

Foreign migrant workers across industries worldwide face unique challenges due to language barriers, complex legal environments, government regulatory barriers, and a reliance on labor brokers and recruitment agencies.

The program will be piloted in Malaysia, given the sizable industry presence and large number of foreign workers there, from September 2015 through December 2016 with plans for it to be rolled out globally afterward.

The EICC program aims to improve worker-management communication in factories; build off existing company training, grievance and helpline efforts; inform the larger EICC grievance management strategy globally; and complement other efforts to implement new standards governing foreign migrant workers as outlined in the EICC Code of Conduct and regulations such as the U.S. Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) on Ending Trafficking in Persons.

Key elements of the pilot include:

  • a comprehensive worker survey, to inform training and establish a baseline to measure against;

  • a worker-management communication program, based on EICC training, specific to foreign migrant workers and their employers;

  • worker education on effective grievance mechanisms; and

  • the development and launch of a worker helpline to address issues that are not resolved at the factory level.  

"By improving communication in factories and enhancing worker grievance mechanisms, companies can identify and address issues in their supply chains more quickly," said Rob Lederer, Executive Director of the Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition (EICC). "Our ultimate goal with this program is to create better, safer environments for foreign migrant workers throughout the electronics industry."

In alignment with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, the provisions in the EICC Code of Conduct are derived from key international human rights standards.

 

About EICC

The EICC is a nonprofit coalition of leading electronics companies dedicated to the social, environmental and ethical responsibility of their supply chains. Our members commit and are held accountable to a common Code of Conduct and utilize a range of training and assessment tools to support continuous improvement. The EICC is comprised of more than 100 electronics companies, representing 17 different sectors from consumer brands to smelters, with combined annual revenue of greater than $3 trillion, and directly employing over 5.5 million people. For more information, visit www.eiccoalition.org and follow us @EICCoalition.

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Responsible Business Alliance

Responsible Business Alliance

The Responsible Business Alliance is the world’s largest industry coalition dedicated to corporate social responsibility in global supply chains.

About the RBA

The Responsible Business Alliance (RBA) is a nonprofit coalition of leading companies dedicated to improving social, environmental and ethical conditions in their global supply chains. The RBA has a Code of Conduct and a range of programs, training and assessment tools to support continual improvement. The RBA and its Responsible Minerals, Labor and Factory Initiatives have more than 380 members with combined annual revenues of greater than $7.7 trillion, directly employing over 21.5 million people, with products manufactured in more than 120 countries.

Vision & Mission

Vision: A global electronics industry that creates sustainable value for workers, the environment and business.

Mission: Members, suppliers and stakeholders collaborate to improve working and environmental conditions through leading standards and practices.

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