SAI Quarterly – April 2018
Building a Standard and Certification Program to Protect Migrant Workers

SAI and SAAS are supporting the development of a new global standard and certification program to promote ethical recruitment and the protection of the rights of migrant workers. Launched by the International Organization for Migration, the International Recruitment Integrity System (IRIS) will be composed of an international standard, a voluntary certification scheme for labor recruiters, and a compliance and monitoring mechanism.

Since February, SAI has been training the IRIS auditors, while SAAS has conducted several pilot audits in the Philippines with assistance from Excel Sustainability Management and Technology Company and UL-STR. Further pilot audits will be conducted in Bangladesh and Nepal later this year, followed by an anticipated soft launch of the program by the end of 2018. To learn more, visit here or contact John Brookes at JBrookes@saasaccreditation.org.
Improving Working Conditions in Waste-Picking Cooperatives and Advancing Circular Economies

SAI has been leading efforts to improve working conditions at waste-picking cooperatives in India and to help formalize the sector through training and capacity building. The work is part of Project Phoenix, an extension of an initiative supported by Johnson & Johnson and initially implemented in Brazil by HM Sustainability and SAI Representative BSD. The project aims to reduce waste and develop post-consumer recycled materials while nurturing local economies and advancing quality of life for waste-pickers.

Last week, SAI’s Training Manager Ashley Thomas and SAAS Operations Manager Archana Panda visited a waste-picking site in Mumbai, meeting with the leadership of a local NGO, Stree Mukti Sanghatana (SMS), and outlining the next steps to promote decent work in the female-dominated waste-picking industry. For more information, contact Ashley Thomas at AThomas@sa-intl.org.
Urging Cambodia to Address Labor Rights Violations

SAI, together with a coalition of brands, retailers, and other industry associations and multi-stakeholder initiatives, is urging the Government of Cambodia to take action to promote labor and human rights in the country. The coalition includes American Apparel & Footwear Association, Amfori, Ethical Trading Initiative, Fair Labor Association, and Fair Wear Foundation, who represent more than 200 buyers sourcing garments, footwear and travel goods from Cambodia.

The coalition is concerned with recent developments in Cambodia around labor rights, and expressed its concerns in an open letter to the prime minister in March. The group met with key stakeholders in Cambodia this month, and hopes to engage directly with the government later this spring. The coalition brings together various efforts, including the Apparel Industry MSI Quick Response Group supported by the C&A Foundation. If your company sources from or operates in Cambodia and you would like to learn more about our work, please contact Christopher Lamoureux at CLamoureux@sa-intl.org.

Working Towards Living Wages in Tiruppur, India

This month, SAI led another round of stakeholder consultations on advancing wages in Tiruppur, a knitwear-producing city in Southern India. The consultations bring together relevant stakeholders to identify practical next steps to achieve the ambitious long-term goal of a living wage for all workers in Tiruppur. These next steps include educating workers on their rights, empowering workers' voices, aligning productivity improvements with wage growth, and developing long-term mutually beneficial relationships between buyers and suppliers. The key to wage growth is collaboration among stakeholders.
 
The Tiruppur living wage benchmark, developed in collaboration between SAI, Fairtrade International, CORT India, and Dr. Richard and Martha Anker, has been finalized based on feedback from local government officials, trade unions, NGOs, suppliers, certification bodies, and industry associations. It is part of a series of benchmarks published by the Global Living Wage Coalition . For more information, visit here or contact Stephanie Wilson at SWilson@sa-intl.org.
Reduced Exposure to Chemicals and Faster Evacuation Times

SAI will soon launch the next round of its workermanager engagement program TenSquared in China. Factories participating in the latest round in Dongguan last year achieved significant health and safety improvements. One team was able to reduce the factory evacuation time from 12 to less than three minutes, and another one significantly reduced workers’ exposure to hazardous chemicals.

"TenSquared is based on direct communication between workers and managers. Our latest addition to the training program is a session specifically designed for managers to identify Chinese cultural barriers and encourage workers to speak up as equals, which we found to be extremely effective,” says Senior Manager Stephanie Wilson.

To enroll your organization for the program’s next wave in China this spring, contact Stephanie Wilson at SWilson@sa-intl.org.
APSCA Completes Its Second Auditor Certification Pilot

As a member of the Stakeholder Board, SAI is pleased with the momentum and progress of the Association of Professional Social Compliance Auditors (APSCA). ASPCA recently completed its second auditor certification pilot in Shenzhen, China, and is currently finalizing the new APSCA Auditor Certification Exam. SAI and SAAS contributed to consultations on the exam development, sharing years of experience in auditor training and oversight.

APSCA's mission is to enhance the professionalism and credibility of social compliance auditors through an official auditor certification program. While individual auditor competency is just one of many aspects of audit quality, including the audit firm's management system, audit procedures and audit length, APSCA plays an important role in establishing a baseline for auditors. To learn more, visit here or contact Rochelle Zaid at RZaid@sa-intl.org.
Highlight from SA8000 Newsletter: Miele's Secret to a Committed Workforce

The 119-year-old German domestic appliances company Miele knows how to make staff feel at home. In fact, over half of Miele’s 19,500 employees have been with the company for over 10 years.

“We have colleagues who have worked with the company for up to 40 or 50 years,” says Dr. Dirk Jeschke, Director for Corporate Quality Management. “Miele has always attached great significance to its relationships with employees, and the fluctuation is very low,” he adds. Read more .
New: Subscribe to Special Quarterly Updates and Links to Resources on SA8000

SAI's new specialized newsletter on SA8000 ® provides useful resources on the Standard's implementation along with latest updates from the certification program. The newsletter complements this general SAI newsletter. Click here to subscribe .

The SA8000 newsletter is aimed at organizations that currently hold or are pursuing SA8000 certification, brands utilizing SA8000 in their CSR programs, certification bodies, and other interested parties.