people: apparel workers
We have completed pilots for the Worker Well-being initiative in Bangladesh, Cambodia, Egypt, Haiti and Pakistan. Introduced by LS&Co. in 2011, the initiative seeks to move beyond a “do no harm” labor compliance model and instead collaborate with suppliers to improve the lives of apparel workers in locations where our products are made.
Through partnerships with vendors and nongovernmental organizations such as Business for Social Responsibility’s HERproject, last year’s pilot programs improved the lives of more than 20,000 people who are making our products. What distinguishes this initiative from others is that we survey the workers so we can tailor the program to the topics they care about the most, such as women’s health and financial inclusion. This unique program, initially co-funded by the Levi Strauss Foundation, is designed to be sustainable, with our suppliers integrating worker well-being programs into their ongoing business operations. Through the Worker Well-being initiative, LS&Co. is setting a new standard for corporate responsibility, one in which we aim to empower workers with the tools they need to lead healthier, more productive lives. Our suppliers have seen a significant return — up to $3 for every $1 invested in the program, so we’re expanding the program in 2015 to more vendors.
TERMS OF ENGAGEMENT
Our Terms of Engagement, published in 1991, established a comprehensive workplace code of conduct for our manufacturing suppliers and specifies the requirements by which all of our contract factories must abide. The Terms also set employment standards and specifically address issues of child labor, forced labor, disciplinary practices, working hours, wages and benefits, freedom of association, discrimination, and health and safety.
Since publishing our Terms of Engagement, we have been a respected leader in protecting worker rights and helping ensure safe, healthy, humane labor conditions.
As pioneers in the movement for fair employment practices, we firmly believe that workplace standards and worker rights should be an integral part of all bilateral, regional or multilateral trade negotiations. Levi Strauss & Co. publicly advocates for linkage of trade and labor, incorporating key workplace standards and worker rights provisions within the context of trade agreements through congressional testimony, meetings with senior government officials, trade negotiations and multi-stakeholder initiatives.
The Levi Strauss Foundation focuses on funding programs that strengthen worker rights and improve the working and living conditions for the people who make our products.
The way we care for our workers extends well beyond the factory. We seek to ensure that workers have the training and tools they need to stay healthy outside the workplace, reducing absenteeism and lost wages and increasing productivity. We also support innovative local, regional and global nonprofit organizations that support our established TOE.
RELATED RESOURCES — APPAREL WORKERS-
Sustainability Guide Book
- Child Labor in Bangladesh
- Freedom of Association, A Positive Result in Haiti
- HERProject: Investing in Women for a Better World
Reports & White Papers
- Improving Women’s Working Conditions in the Pearl River Delta
- Improving Worker Well-being Pilot Snapshot
- Improving Worker Well-being Bangladesh Survey Report
- Improving Worker Well-being Cambodia Survey Report
- Improving Worker Well-being Egypt Survey Report
- Improving Worker Well-being Haiti Survey Report
- Improving Worker Well-being Pakistan Survey Report
- Improving Worker Well-being White Paper
- Moving the Needle: Protecting the Rights of Garment Factory Workers
Policies & Commitments
- California Transparency in Supply Chains Act 2011
- Levi Strauss & Co. and Hennes & Mauritz AB Announce Global Ban on Sandblasting
- Levi Strauss & Co. Announces New Terms of Engagement for Its Global Supply Chain
- Wages & Benefits – 2011
- Open Letter to Government, Manufacturers, and Trade Unions in Cambodia
Other Materials & Documents