II. Codes of Conduct in the U.S. Apparel Industry
1 Sri Ram Khanna, "Trends in US and EU Textile and
Clothing Imports," Textile Outlook International, January 1996, 80
[hereinafter Trends in US and EU Textile and Clothing Imports].
4 This study examines the foreign implementation of codes
of conduct, not domestic application -- although many companies have similar
policies for garment production and sourcing within the United States.
5 Lance Compa and Tashia Hinchliffe-Darricarrere, "Enforcing
International Labor Rights Through Corporate Codes of Conduct," Columbia
Journal of Transnational Law 33 (1995), 663-668 [hereinafter Compa and
9 The OECD Declaration and Decisions on International
Investment and Multinational Enterprises, 1991 Review (Paris: Organization for
Economic Cooperation and Development, 1992), 39.
10 Tripartite Declaration of Principles Concerning
Multinational Enterprises and Social Policy, 2d ed., (Geneva: International
Labor Office, 1991)[hereinafter ILO Declaration of Principles].
12 The Sullivan Principles, developed by the Reverend
Leon H. Sullivan in 1977, were aimed at U.S. corporations doing business in
South Africa within the apartheid legal system. They were intended to apply
pressure on the South African government to end apartheid by promoting
employment practices in U.S. corporations that ensured racial equality. See
Leon H. Sullivan, "The Sullivan Principles and Change in South Africa,"
in Business in the Contemporary World, Herbert L. Sawyer, ed., (1988), 175.
13 Named after Nobel Prize-winning human rights activist
Sean MacBride, the MacBride Principles were developed in 1984 by the Irish
National Caucus to address allegations of anti-Catholic discrimination in
employment in Northern Ireland. See The MacBride Principles (Washington, D.C.:
Irish National Caucus, 1984), 2.
14 The Slepak Principles were issued in 1987 by the
Slepak Foundation. They were designed to apply to U.S. corporations doing
business in the former Soviet Union. See Jorge F. Perez-Lopez, "Promoting
Respect for Worker Rights Through Business Codes of Conduct," Fordham
International Law Journal 17 (1993), 13.
15 Maquiladoras are plants that assemble parts and
components into a finished product for export. Maquiladoras are located in
Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean, and assemble U.S.-made parts and
components into finished goods that are exported to the United States. The
Maquiladora Standards of Conduct were issued in 1991 by the Coalition for
Justice in the Maquiladoras. See "Maquiladora Standards of Conduct,"
in The CJM Newsletter (San Antonio, Texas: Coalition for Justice in the
Maquiladoras, 1992), 1.
16 In 1995, the Clinton Administration encouraged U.S.
corporations and organizations to develop their own voluntary codes of conduct
for their foreign operations based on a set of Model Business Principles. See
Model Business Principles (U.S. Department of Commerce International Trade
Information Center, 1995). See also "Administration Releases Details on
Voluntary Business Principles," Daily Labor Report, no. 104 (May 31, 1995)
19 Robert D. Haas, "Ethics -- A Global Business
Challenge: Character and Courage," speech to the Conference Board, New
York City (May 4, 1994) Vital Speeches of the Day, 506, 507 (on file with the
International Child Labor Study).
21 According to the International Mass Retailers
Association, companies should be good corporate citizens but the responsibility
for eliminating child labor lies not with corporations but with local and U.S.
governments -- "it's called law enforcement." See International Child
Labor Hearing, U.S. Department of Labor (June 28, 1996) (Statement of the
International Mass Retailers Association)[hereinafter Statement of IMRA].
26 "Dynamic Change in the Garment Industry: How
Firms and Workers Can Survive and Thrive," (U.S. Department of Labor,
Office of the Chief Economist, 1996) 1 [hereinafter Dynamic Change in the
27 Jackie Jones, "Forces Behind Restructuring in
U.S. Apparel Retailing and its Effect on the U.S. Apparel Industry,"
Industry, Trade, and Technology Review (U.S. International Trade Commission,
1995) 23 [hereinafter Forces Behind Restructuring].
31 Carol Warfield, Mary Barry and Dorothy Cavender, "Apparel
Retailing in the USA-Part I," Textile Outlook International (March 1995) 38
[hereinafter Apparel Retailing in the USA - Part I]. See also Forces Behind
Restructuring at 23.
57 For example, a U.S. Embassy official who recently
toured a Cambodian garment factory found "problematic" working
conditions, including workers who appeared to be under age (but who claimed to
be above the minimum working age of 16) and forced, unremunerated overtime.
American Embassy-Phnom Penh, unclassified telegram no. 2594, September 16, 1996.
59 Kurt Salmon Associates, Financial Profile for Fiscal
Year 1995 (July 1996). The Profile includes only those companies that file
public documents with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
64 International Child Labor Hearing, U.S. Department of
Labor (June 28, 1996)(Statement of Levi Strauss). Spiegel, Inc. ('Spiegel')
and Liz Claiborne, while they do not have formal guidelines for country
selection, said in telephone interviews that they decided to sever contracts
with producers in Burma because of human rights violations.
75 In a clause Sara Lee Corporation ('Sara Lee') provided
from an agreement with a former buyer agent, however, Sara Lee required
compliance with national laws on child labor. Furthermore, a Sara Lee supplier
in the Dominican Republic (BRATEX Dominicana) provided a Department of Labor
official with Sara Lee's "Supplier Selection Guidelines," which state
that Sara Lee will not procure goods or services from firms employing workers
under age 15.
76 This is the standard contained in Warnaco's Business
Partner Terms of Engagement, which is used only for contractors' facilities.
For its wholly owned plants, Warnaco indicated that it uses U.S. labor standards
with respect to all aspects of labor law excluding wages.
78 The code is called "Labor and Environmental
Principles to be Observed by the Members of the Apparel and Textile Industry
Commission of the Association of Exporters of Non-Traditional Products,"
and was developed by the Apparel and Textile Industry Commission (VESTEX).
VESTEX recently retained the services of an outside auditing firm to monitor
compliance of member companies with the code. Any manufacturer may choose to
adopt the code, but is responsible for paying to be audited.
83 The following companies indicated that they use
internal staff to monitor for compliance: Federated, Fruit of the Loom, The
Gap, Hartmarx, JCPenney, Jones, Kellwood, Kmart, Land's End, Levi Strauss, The
Limited, Liz Claiborne, Mercantile Stores, Nike, Nordstrom, Oxford, Phillips-Van
Heusen, Russell, Salant, Sara Lee, Sears, Spiegel, Talbots, Tultex Corporation,
VF Corporation, Wal-Mart, Warnaco, Woolworth Corporation.
84 These companies are: Dillard Department Stores,
Dollar General, Dress Barn, The Gap, JCPenney, Jones, Kellwood, Land's End,
The Limited, Mercantile Stores Company, Nordstrom, Phillips-Van Heusen, Sara
Lee, Spiegel, Stage Stores, The Talbots, Venture Stores, VF Corporation and
88 See Bob Herbert, "In Deep Denial," The New
York Times, October 13, 1995. See also National Labor Committee press releases
of October 18, 1995, November 21, 1995 and December 16, 1995.
90 Statement of ICCR. According to Mark Anner, of the
Center for Labor Studies (CENTRA), who coordinates the NGO monitoring team, the
experience has been very positive, with most problems already resolved at the
Mandarin plant. He expressed concern, however, regarding the long-term
sustainability of NGO monitoring since the monitors are all volunteers (with
full-time jobs elsewhere) and raise their own budget.
92 These companies are Federated, Fruit of the Loom, The
Gap, Land's End, Levi Strauss, Liz Claiborne, Montgomery Ward, Nike, Oxford,
Phillips-Van Heusen, Price/Costco, Salant, Sara Lee, Spiegel, VF Corporation,
Wal-Mart and Warnaco. Several other companies, including Dillard and JCPenney,
indicated that they seek out suppliers with established reputations for quality
that comply with all applicable laws, but did not state that they conduct
93 These auditors are based in the region where they
work. While they are specially trained in enforcing Levi Strauss' "Guidelines,"
they also do work pertaining to quality control and sourcing activities.