June 6, 2011
MSN facilitates dialogue between our southern partners and international brands in order to push the brands to find solutions to problems in their supplier factories.
- In July 2010, an independent investigation of Levi's suppliers in Aguascalientes - born out of meetings in 2009 between MSN, Colectivo Raiz and the company - found evidence of protection contracts, compulsory overtime, failure to provide overtime pay, and health and safety issues. Levi's has made changes as a result of the report and in the first quarter of 2011, Levi's, MSN and Colectivo Raiz will meet to discuss progress on corrective action.
- In February, a horrific fire at the Garib & Garib sweater factory in Bangladesh took the lives of 21 workers who were unable to escape due to locked exits and blocked hallways. MSN collaborated with international counterparts in developing a set of action proposals for brands sourcing from Bangladesh to eliminate factory fires and address other health and safety hazards.
- In early December, 27 more workers died in a similar factory fire in Bangladesh. In response, MSN collaborated with international counterparts in developing an urgent action request for brands sourcing from the factory demanding just compensation for the employees injured and the families of those killed, and a concerted effort to ensure, through independent inspections, that this is the last such preventable tragedy that the Bangladeshi apparel workers have to suffer.
- In response to the January 2010 earthquake in Haiti MSN engaged with and lobbied companies to provide emergency assistance and employment guarantees. Together with international partners MSN helped develop a set of concrete action proposals for brands, manufacturers and retailers, which included calling on these stakeholders to provide emergency assistance and financial compensation to displaced and injured workers and families of earthquake victims.