ACT is a foundation jointly created by global brands and retailers in the garment, textile and footwear sector and IndustriALL, the global trade union federation representing garment and textile workers. Since its foundation in 2016 21 brands signed the Memorandum of Understanding, being an agreement between ACT corporate signatories and IndustriALL Global Union on establishing within global supply chains freedom of association, collective bargaining and living wages.
ACT is a non-profit organisation, expenditures are aimed at the realisation or promotion of ACT’s objective. The foundation and its activities are funded by contributions paid by member brands and by project funding.
ACTION, COLLABORATION, TRANSFORMATION
ACT stands for Action, Collaboration, Transformation. The activities of the foundation are to operationalise the MoU (ACTION), to identify and strengthening synergies among companies and with other initiatives and institutions (COLLABORATION), and to engage with trade unions and employers to negotiate, agree and implement national collective agreements to ensure progress towards living wages and brands supporting this through their purchasing practices (TRANSFORMATION).
Since the foundation of ACT in December 2016 the focus of our activities in 2017 was first of all to setting up the organisational infrastructure, increasing the public outreach by engaging with other businesses, initiatives and organisations, by developing our website, and by consultation with business and trade unions in several garment producing countries. ACT member brands also undertook a Purchasing Practices Self-Assessment (PPSA). This survey gives an overview of brands’ performance in purchasing practices. Brands use it to take individual measures to overcome deficiencies identified in the survey. 833 respondents from 14 brands from Buying, Merchandising, Sourcing, Management, Design (and others) filled in the self-assessment survey. Respondents were asked to answer 55 questions related to purchasing practices divided in 16 sections. New members who joined ACT in 2018 will accomplish the Purchasing Practices Self-Assessment in 2019. Starting in 2019 there will be regular self-assessments to monitor developments.
ACT member brands furthermore agreed on commitments to support collective bargaining on industry level in target countries. While initial consultations with national constituents started in 2017 we are since 2018 continuously in dialogue with national actors in Cambodia, Myanmar, and Turkey. In 2018 we also established a global collaborative structure among member brands and IndustriALL to improve purchasing practices and started to develop an accountability and monitoring mechanism to strengthen trust in the ACT approach.
ACT’s activities are implemented through the cooperation between the staff of the ACT Foundation, expert working groups of ACT members, and external experts and consultants. ACT also creates country groups consisting of local brand representatives, employers’ and workers’ organisations and suppliers of brand members.
ACT will build on this initial groundwork and continue consultations and facilitate a negotiation process with national stakeholders in target countries through technical expertise and capacity building for national negotiation teams. Together with the national constituencies ACT will develop a capacity building programme to enable the national actors to monitor the collective bargaining agreement.
For further information on our activities in 2019 you can find our activity report and financial statement here.
ACT BOARD MEMBERS
Assistant General Secretary, IndustriALL Global Union
Christina Erika Hajagos-Clausen
Director, Textile and Garment Industry, IndustriALL Global Union
Corporate Responsibility Manager, Pentland Brands
Arcadia Group Limited
Executive Director, ACT
Jennifer has over 10 years of experience in the garment sector including work with the OECD and Business for Social Responsibility (BSR). While at the OECD, Jennifer led the development and implementation of the Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains in the Garment and Footwear Sector to inform government policy in the apparel supply chain in both producing and importing countries. Within this role, Jennifer’s work included the development of practical guidance for companies in the field of responsible purchasing practices as a component of pursuing living wages through industrial relations.
Senior Project Manager, ACT
Bea Ruoff has published several articles about her research on labour market development and inequality, wage setting and global value chains and has designed and managed multi-stakeholder research projects at the Berlin School of Economics and Law.
Senior Programme Manager, ACT
David Cichon has a background in sociology and political science with a research focus on industrial relations in global value chains. He completed his doctoral thesis on wage setting in Cambodia’s garment and footwear industry.
Senior Programme Manager, ACT
Tandiwe Gross joined the team in June 2018. She has a background in political science, law and labour policies, and has worked for the ILO in the field of online capacity building and technical advice on due diligence. More recently she served in the ILO Liaison Office in Myanmar.
International Communications Manager
James has a background in communication strategy and public policy with a particular focus on wages and the global garment industry. An avid storyteller, James has supported civil society, government and private sector groups to use communication strategies to secure better outcomes for workers and communities.
Prof. Doug Miller
Prof. Doug Miller is emeritus professor in worker rights in fashion (University of Northumbria, UK), with a research focus on mechanisms for delivering a living wage, worker compensation and social labelling. Prior to this he was Director of Research at the International Textile Garment and Leather Workers Federation (now part of IndustriALL Global Union). He is currently acting in an advisory capacity to ACT and the Dutch Fair Wear Foundation.
Veasna Nuon supports ACT in Cambodia. He holds an M.A. in Labour Policies and Globalisation and has been working with various international organizations in the field of labour for over a decade. His work included labour research, training and education and program design, monitoring and evaluation. His main areas of expertise are industrial relations and labour policies as well as labour standards and global trade.
Supervisory Board members do not receive remuneration for their duties. The executive director is paid at the level of professional staff in the UN System. ACT staff is paid in accordance to the collective wage agreement for public service in Germany (TVÖD). External experts are paid in accordance with standard rates for consultancy work in development cooperation.