Telecom provider 2017 - Labour Policy Question 2

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Is the brand (company) a member of a multi stakeholder initiative (MSI), wherein independent NGO’s or labor unions are represented, that collectively aims to improve labor conditions and that carries out independent audits? Or does the brand (company) significantly purchase its supplies from factories certified by such MSI’s?

Dutch version: Is het merk (bedrijf) lid van een samenwerkingsverband, waarin bedrijfsonafhankelijke NGO's of vakbonden zijn vertegenwoordigd, om arbeidsomstandigheden te verbeteren en dat onafhankelijke controles uitvoert, of koopt het merk in bij 'gecertificeerde' fabrieken?

German version: Ist der Markenhersteller Mitglied in einer Multi-Stakeholder-Initiative, die Arbeitsbedingungen verbessern will und in der NGOs und/oder Gewerkschaften mitwirken? Oder erwirbt der Markenhersteller Lieferungen von Fabriken welche von solchen Initiativen zertifiziert wurden?


See Apparel & Footwear Question 5 and Apparel & Footwear Question 6, this question is a combination where requirements of both questions have to be fulfilled.

Our previous ranking showed that almost all electronics brands are members of either the EICC or GeSi. Both EICC and GeSi ONLY include companies as members – NGOs are not represented in the EICC and GeSi, although both claim to work with them. These two organizations also provide a Code of Conduct, but only the EICC verifies that its standards are met by its full members: by e.g., requesting joint audits based on the EICC standards. However, the EICC does not coordinate follow-ups, which (according to the Netherlands-based research centre SOMO,) “means that it is left to the individual companies to each come up with a corrective action plan – or not – and does not require working together on it” (see also the report Computer Connections by SOMO). Finally, the Joint Audit Cooperation initiative (JAC) is also not eligible, as it consists only of telecom companies.

A few years ago, Apple became the first technology company to join the Fair Labor Association (FLA) (January 2012). The FLA is a true Multi Stakeholder Initiative (MSI), with NGOs on the board. Also, the FLA-auditing process is done by third party stakeholders. Another possible accreditation scheme at the supplier level is SA8000. However, telecom companies typically do not adopt this certification.

Not eligible, but worth mentioning is brands that report membership of the Dutch Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH). This multi-stakeholder initiative consists of companies, the government and NGO's. One of its projects includes working towards more sustainable tin mining in Indonesia. The reason why IDH is not eligible for this question is that its scale of operations is too small compared to the scale of operations of the participating brands.

Ranking guidelines

You can reward a ‘Yes’ if the brand is a member of the Fair Labor Association (FLA), or uses an SA8000 accreditation scheme. If you find another plausible Multi-Stakeholder Initiative of which the brand is a member, please add a comment to the verifier about this on the ranking sheet. A '?' can be assigned when no Multi-Stakeholder Initiative is mentioned. A 'No' should be assigned only when a brand explicitly states to not be involved in a Multi-Stakeholder Initiative.