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Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez
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News Release

ILAB News Release: [10/06/2010]
Contact Name: Clarisse Young or Gloria Della
Phone Number: (202) 693-5051 or x8666
Release Number: 10-1409-NAT

US Department of Labor awards $2 million to implement Better Work program in Nicaragua

WASHINGTON — Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis today announced a $2 million grant award to implement a Better Work program in Nicaragua. The grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of International Labor Affairs will be implemented by the International Labor Organization.

"Better Work is a highly successful strategy that was first developed in Cambodia 10 years ago. Its elements are worth replicating in other countries as a means of protecting workers' rights while promoting development," said Secretary Solis. "Nicaragua joins those countries that embrace what is considered a gold standard for the respect of labor rights in the garment sector."

Better Work is a unique partnership program of the ILO and the International Finance Corp., which seeks to improve labor conditions in global supply chains, both to protect workers' rights and to help enterprises become more competitive. The Better Work program monitors conditions in export factories, publishes the results in a transparent manner, and assists suppliers to comply with labor standards that many buyers and customers demand.

Better Work Nicaragua will focus on labor standards compliance in the country's garment factories. The program will engage the Nicaraguan Ministry of Labor, National Free Trade Commission, factory managers, employer organizations and trade unions, and provide guidance on challenges and solutions to labor compliance in ways that increase the viability of companies. Many multinational brands have expressed support for this project, including Columbia Sportswear, Gap Inc., Fishman & Tobin, Gildan, Levi Strauss & Co., Sears Corp., Target Corp., Walmart and VF Corp.

For photographs from the event, visit http://s.dol.gov/BA.

For more information about the Department of Labor's Bureau of International Labor Affairs' technical assistance projects, visit http://www.dol.gov/ilab.