Can CSR ratings help improve labour practices in global supply chains?, a new paper published by the Maquila Solidarity Network (MSN) and the Project on Organizing, Development, Education and Research (PODER), examines the potential of rating systems to drive improvements in supply chain labour practices. Through interviews with CSR experts, representatives from companies like Levi's, Gap and others that have been rated on supply chain labour issues, labour rights advocacy groups, and rating system developers, the paper highlights some key challenges facing rating systems and how some rating systems have tried to overcome, or at least minimize, those challenges.
In response to a request from MSN, six major US apparel brands that buy blue jeans from Mexican jean manufacturer Grupo Navarra are speaking out in favour of the right of workers employed at the Vaqueros Navarra factory in Tehuacan, Mexico to be represented by the union of their free choice.
In response to a decision by the UK Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) to suspend Levi Strauss's membership for refusing to commit to the ETI Living Wage standard, Canada's Ethical Trading Action Group (ETAG) has reduced Levi's score in its 2006 Transparency Report Card from 1st to 5th place.
Finally some major brand-name apparel and footwear companies are responding to the call for greater transparency and accountability