The International Labor Organization (ILO) has developed the Better Work Program which is a global initiative between the ILO and the International Finance Corporation (IFC). Promoting productivity and competitiveness while improving working conditions in the apparel industry is the goal of Better Work. The ILO’s focus was twofold – to protect factory workers and make sure they are treated fairly throughout the supply chain and working with the factory owners so that they may remain productive and competitive. Seven countries now utilize the Better Work Program.
As of now, 150 factories are participating in Viet Nam with expectations this number will grow to 500 by 2014. This translates to 500,000 workers who will be participating in a Better Work Program.
Dang Thu Hoan, shown here, works at the Viet Thinh garment factory in Viet Nam. During her nine hour shift she will handle 130 semi-completed garments. Working six days a week, Dang earns the equivalent of eight US dollars per day with benefits. This is twice the minimum wage in Viet Nam.
Currently there are 33 international buyers and vendors of apparel subscribed to the Viet Nam program. A few of the American buyers include Columbia Sportswear, L.L.Bean and Nike.
For more information on this great initiative, please read Vietnamese Apparel Factories Producing a Good Bargain For All.
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