|Action Against Child Labour (ILO, 2000, 356 p.)|
|7. Trade unions against child labour|
|7.2 HOW TRADE UNIONS ARE FIGHTING CHILD LABOUR|
Over the past years collaboration between agencies has been increasing worldwide as more experience is being gained in carrying out successful measures against child labour and, as a result, trust develops between partners. The bringing together of employers' organizations (see also Chapter 6), NGOs, governments and trade unions creates a powerful tool to identify child labour abuses and eradicate them. There is a growing recognition that the complex social, cultural and economic issues underlying child labour present dilemmas to all those working in the field and that it is essential to share experience, and carefully consider, plan and implement strategies. Trade unions are well placed as a pressure group towards both employers and governments, and at the same time local trade union branches increasingly cooperate in community-based activities with a wide range of NGOs (see also Chapter 9).
Box 7.8. Code of Labor Practice for
PRODUCTION OF GOODS LICENSED by the
SYDNEY ORGANISING COMMITTEE FOR THE OLYMPIC
A greed between the Sydney Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (SOCOG), the Sydney Paralympic Organising Committee (SPOC), the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) and the Labor Council of New South Wales. Having concurred on the necessity for effective monitoring to ensure that the Code is respected at all levels, the above organisations are continuing discussions on practical measures to achieve these objectives.
In accordance with the goal of the Olympic Movement to contribute to building a peaceful and better world by educating youth through sport practised without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play, SOCOG/SPOC recognises its responsibilities to consumers for the quality of products produced under its licensing arrangements, and workers involved in the making of SOCOG/SPOC licensed products and the conditions under which these products are made.
Each licensee awarded the right to use the SOCOG/SPOC name or logo in the manufacture and/or supply of licensed product to SOCOG/SPOC has been audited to ensure that they have appropriate standards of operation and has, as a condition of license agreement, confirmed in writing that employee work conditions meet the relevant industrial regulations.
Licensees further agree to ensure that these conditions and standards are observed by each contractor and subcontractor in the production and distribution of SOCOG/SPOC licensed products. Licensees should, prior to placing orders with suppliers or engaging contractors and subcontractors, assess whether the provisions of this Code can be met.
Each SOCOG/SPOC licensee, and each contractor and subcontractor engaged by the licensee, shall compulsorily implement and respect the following principles in the production and/or distribution of products bearing the SOCOG/SPOC name and/or SOCOG/SPOC authorised marks. Furthermore, each licensee shall warrant that these principles shall be equally imposed upon all those employed or delegated by such licensee.
EMPLOYMENT IS FREELY CHOSEN
There shall be no use of forced or bonded labour (ILO Conventions 29 and 105).
THERE IS NO DISCRIMINATION IN EMPLOYMENT
Equality of opportunity and treatment regardless of race, colour, sex, religion, political opinion, nationality, social origin or other distinguishing characteristics shall be provided (ILO Conventions 100 and 111).
FREEDOM OF ASSOCIATION AND THE RIGHT TO COLLECTIVE BARGAINING ARE RESPECTED
The right of workers to form and join trade unions and to bargain collectively shall be recognized and respected (ILO Conventions 87 and 98).
FAIR WAGES ARE PAID
Wages and benefits paid shall meet at least legal or industry minimum standards and should be sufficient to meet basic needs and provide some discretionary income.
HOURS OF WORK ARE NOT EXCESSIVE
Hours of work shall comply with applicable laws and industry standards.
WORKING CONDITIONS ARE DECENT
A safe and hygienic working environment shall be provided, and best occupational health and safety practice shall be promoted, bearing in mind the knowledge of the industry and of any specific hazards held by licensees, contractors and subcontractors.
THE EMPLOYMENT RELATIONSHIP IS ESTABLISHED AND TRAINING PROVIDED
Employers should endeavour to provide regular and secure employment. Appropriate training should be available for all employees.
IMPLEMENTATION AND MONITORING
Licensees, their contractors and subcontractors shall undertake to support and cooperate in the implementation and monitoring of this Code by:
· Prior to engagement, the licensee shall provide SOCOG/SPOC with written confirmation that the licensee, as a minimum, adheres to relevant international labor force standards; providing SOCOG/SPOC or its agent with relevant information concerning their operations; permitting inspection at any time of their workplaces and operations by approved SOCOG/SPOC personnel; maintaining records of the name, age, hours worked and wages paid for each worker and making these available to approved inspectors on request; refraining from disciplinary action, dismissal or otherwise discriminating against any worker for providing information concerning observance of this Code.
Any licensee, contractor or subcontractor found to be in breach of one or more terms of this Code of Labor Practice shall be subject to a range of sanctions up to and including withdrawal of the right to produce or organise production of SOCOG licensed goods as per the contractual provisions. Furthermore, licensees who fail to ensure that their contractors or subcontractors abide by the Code of Labor Practice shall be subject to the same range of sanctions.
A joint Committee comprising Representatives of the ACTU; Labor Council of NSW; SOCOG staff and the SOCOG Board shall meet as required to review reported breaches of this code and make recommendations to the SOCOG Board for action as appropriate.
Box 7.9. Code of conduct by the International Federation of Football Associations (FIFA)
"One of the trail-blazing codes of conduct... was that agreed between FIFA and the international trade union movement... it grew out of the exposure of stories... about the widespread employment of children in the stitching of footballs, mainly in Pakistan but also in India."
(Neil Kearney, General Secretary of the International Textile, Garment and Leather Workers' Federation (ITGLWF))
The Code of Labour Practice negotiated with FIFA provides that FIFA authorized marks cannot be given to footballs produced with child labour. The code includes provision for effective monitoring and consideration is being given to the provision of education and training for child labourers displaced by the implementation of the code.
The code includes a preamble stating FIFA's commitment to fair play and ethical conduct. The preamble also recognizes responsibility to customers for the quality of the product, and to workers involved in the production of FIFA licensed products. The key features of the code include:
· employment is freely chosen (no forced or bonded labour);
· relevant information concerning operations;
· severe penalties for breach of the code; and
· interpretations of meaning of the code's provisions to be resolved by the Memorandum of Understanding on the Code of Labour Practice between FIPA and the ICFTU (International Confederation of Free Trade Unions)/ITGLWF (International Textile, Garment and Leather Workers' Federation)/FIET (International Federation of Commercial, Clerical, Professional and Technical Employees).