SAI Responds to AFL-CIO Rejoinder to ‘Responsibility Outsourced’ Report

May 29, 2013

SAI acknowledges the AFL-CIO rejoinder to our initial response to their report, “Responsibility Outsourced.” We continue to welcome discussions with unions such as the AFL-CIO and look forward to constructive dialogue. As mentioned in SAI’s initial response, stakeholder consultation that includes union input is integral to the advancement of workers rights around the world. We are in total agreement with the AFL-CIO that workers rights issues in global supply chains are complex and require the cooperation of many actors over much time to solve.

The core teachings of SAI and SA8000 are to establish a culture of compliance. Richard Locke’s statement, as well as the UN Guiding Principles’ ‘protect, respect, remedy’ framework are central tenets of human rights – first and foremost governments must protect human rights in the workplace. This framework and culture of compliance is what SAI’s Pillars in Practice program specifically aims to advance, and previously what programs such as Project Cultivar aimed to achieve.

SAI continues to believe that independent trade unions and strong, enforced, national labor legislation are the best means to achieve decent work. SA8000 is designed and intended to support, not supplant, government and international rules. As the AFL-CIO states, the language of the SA8000 standard is respected because it is normative and aligned with national laws and international conventions. Compliance to SA8000 is compliance to high-level labor regulations.

SAI is appreciative of AFL-CIO’s efforts to raise awareness and concern for workers’ rights, as well as their view of SA8000. As detailed in our initial response, we are certainly taking its recommendations into consideration as we move forward with revising the SA8000 standard. More changes are under consideration and we welcome the AFL-CIO’s advice. Again, we look forward to further discussions with the AFL-CIO as well as any unions that are interested in engaging with SAI.

More information:

SAI Responds to AFL-CIO ‘Responsibility Outsourced’ Report- May 7, 2013
http://www.sa-intl.org/aflcioresponse