Fair Labour Association recommends ACT as a way to achieve living wages

“Governments, unions, and brands should promote the adoption of industry-wide initiatives, such as ACT, that bring together government, unions and apparel brands to push for positive change on wages.”

A new report by the U.S.-based Fair Labour Association (FLA) recommends governments, unions and brands to promote the adoption of industry-wide initiatives such as ACT to achieve progress on wages in Vietnam.

According to the report, even though most workers earn more than double the legal minimum wage, they rely on excessive overtime and days without rest, in violation of international health and safety standards, to earn enough to live on.
The report, based on research over three years covering 13,000 workers in Vietnam, states: “Industry-wide initiatives such as ACT (Action, Collaboration, Transformation), which brings together government, unions, and apparel brands, are gaining momentum in other countries to leverage brand influence alongside union advocacy to push for positive change. Such an approach might benefit workers in Vietnam.”

The report also recommends that brands review costing policies to ensure they allow for the payment of fair wages, engage in joint planning and forecasting and avoid using harsh negotiating tactics with suppliers that may lead suppliers to operate with involuntary or excessive overtime.

All ACT member brands have committed to Global Purchasing Practices Commitments covering these and more areas as a basis for the relationships with suppliers worldwide.

ACT members are working on the internal implementation of these commitments and on the development of a monitoring mechanism involving brands, suppliers and trade unions.

Linking responsible purchasing practices to collective bargaining at industry level creates not only the space but also the mechanism for achieving living wages as a basis for a sustainable garment, textile and footwear sector.

“Incorporating higher wages into purchasing prices and better forecasting are key areas of ACT’s Global Purchasing Practices Commitments to provide the economic space that is needed for employers and trade unions to negotiate living wages.”

Frank Hoffer, ACT

Picture: ©ILO/Nguyễn Việt Thanh licenced under the CC-BY-ND 3.0.