Improving working conditions in Tamil Nadu through cooperation
The collective project 'Factory support programme: continuous improvement of labour conditions in Tamil Nadu, India' aims to improve working conditions in this southern Indian state by addressing social issues. The following themes are central to the project: discrimination & gender, child labour, forced labour, freedom of association, living wage, and health & safety in the workplace. The project began in September 2020 and will run for three years.
First of all, the project focuses on improving the participating companies' business processes, for example by ensuring a structural improvement in supply chain awareness of the conditions at production sites. The companies are also working to improve their international RBC policies and procurement practices and to help suppliers set up and support committees that represent workers so that they can respond to complaints and develop preventive measures addressing risks at the factories.
Second, the project focuses on the production sites and the employees working there. The aim is to make workers more aware of and knowledgeable about labour laws. The project is fostering this by offering workers' committees at 75 factories and spinning mills a training programme. It is also providing training courses for the residents of 35 hostels, for example to improve their communication and problem-solving skills and their mental and emotional resilience. The regional helpline that factory workers can call to report malpractices will be upgraded and linked to the complaints and dispute mechanism under the Agreement.
During the project, seven of the Agreement's signatories are cooperating with their suppliers and with Arisa, Mondiaal FNV, SAVE (a local NGO) and the Agreement Secretariat to address risks in their supply chain. The participating companies are Euretco, Fabienne Chapot, HEMA, O’Neill, Prénatal, The Sting and WE Fashion. The project is being funded in part by the Dutch government’s Fund for Responsible Business (FVO).