At SAI, our vision is of a world where workers, businesses, and communities thrive together. The COVID-19 pandemic has shown that there is still a long way to go to achieve this vision, exposing many vulnerabilities of the modern global value chain, and revealing and deepening disparities between supply chain workers and the people who buy and sell the goods they make.
At the same time, we are invigorated by widespread calls to build a better world in the aftermath of this crisis and hopeful that this moment will serve as a wake-up call and catalyst for action. Over the past year, we have been working around the world addressing the immediate needs of vulnerable workers, helping businesses weather the crisis safely and humanely, and helping them prepare for more responsible and sustainable operation going forward. Several of these efforts are highlighted below.
If creating more decent jobs and building more resilient supply chains is a priority for you this year, and if you are able, we hope you will consider supporting our work with a donation. Your contribution today will help us build and grow innovative programs to advance workers’ rights worldwide.
Thank you for your continued support of SAI’s mission and solidarity with vulnerable workers.
Introducing Anker Reference Values for Living Wage and Living Income
In July, the Global Living Wage Coalition and Anker Research Network announced the release of a follow-up to their living wage benchmarking methodology that will increase the number of estimates the GLWC can produce each year. 15 reference value reports are available on the GLWC website now and more will be added soon.
Developed by Martha Anker, Richard Anker, and SAI Research Fellow, Ian Prates, Anker Reference Values are an incredibly valuable new asset in the fight for global living wages and income. Learn more.
Introducing the Anker Research Network
SAI is proud to be the institutional host for the new Anker Living Wage and Living Income Research Network, the research arm of the Global Living Wage Coalition. Led by Richard Anker and Martha Anker, the Network convenes researchers from around the world to advance high-quality research to drive action on improving livelihoods around the world. We are thankful to Clif Bar & Co. for their generous founding support of the Anker Research Network.
Improving Conditions for Wastepickers in Recycling Supply Chains
Waste-pickers are among the least visible and most vulnerable people in the supply chain. As a largely informal workforce, they have little to no safety net to rely on in an economic crisis.
Pre-COVID, our Inclusive Waste Recycling Consortium (iWrc) partnership was assessing waste-picking cooperatives in Brazil and supporting them to improve working conditions. But the immediate needs of the workers during this crisis became paramount and iWrc pivoted to provide direct aid in the form of supplies and sustenance.
As operations resume around the world, iWrc is expanding its capacity building programs in Mexico, Colombia, and Vietnam.
Improving Production Capacity Planning & Purchasing Practices in India and Bangladesh
SAI is pleased to share that we are now partnering with the Global Fund to End Modern Slavery and UK FCDO to extend the work of our EU-funded supplier capacity program to protect vulnerable workers in garment factories. Many of these are migrant workers, whose particular challenges during economic crisis have been on stark display.
We are working directly with suppliers and buyers to improve supply chain transparency, calculation of production capacity, and sourcing practices, to address unauthorized sub-contracting, excessive overtime, and forced labor risks.
Palma Futuro in Colombia and Ecuador
Over the past several months, we have conducted virtual training and technical assistance for several major palm oil producers in Colombia and Ecuador on managing labor risks from COVID-19, including many participants at the farm level, where risks for child labor and forced labor conditions are greatest.
We also partnered with Ulula, a worker-engagement technology company, to survey palm oil workers about how COVID has impacted their lives and working conditions. The results from the first round of mobile surveys are in and we are now working with the companies on strategies to address areas of concern within the findings. About Palma Futuro.
Resource: COVID-19 Guidance for SA8000-Certified Organizations
SAI released version 2 of “Responding To COVID-19: Guidance for SA8000®-Certified Organizations.” This guidance describes key labor risks introduced or worsened by COVID-19 and aims to support organizations in managing a quick and safe return to work, while protecting vulnerable workers during and after the crisis. Learn more.
New SA8000 Database Launched
This year, SAI launched an online platform for the SA8000 system that brings all certified organizations, CBs, and auditors together. Among other functions, the database allows certified organizations to access their audit reports directly and share with buyers at their discretion. It also gives SAI the ability to view and compare data across the entire SA8000 system and communicate directly with all certified organizations.
We are also in the early stages of launching the SA8000 Unified Audit Report & Data Collection Tool, which will standardize the data collected during SA8000 audits and result in a standardized audit report, improving consistency and accessibility across the system. Learn more.
All photos in this newsletter were taken pre-COVID.