The protocol on freedom of association was signed last year in Jakarta by textile, garment and footwear unions, sportswear MNCs and key manufacturers. The protocol contains a number of provisions, all with the aim of creating time and space for trade union activities and promoting better industrial relations in sportswear producing factories. To date Adidas, Nike, Puma, New Balance, Pentland and Asics, as well as a number of their Indonesian suppliers, have committed to abide by the agreement.
In the thirteen months since the protocol was ratified there have been good efforts by some brands to implement the FOA Protocol in their Indonesian supply chains. However factory and national level monitoring committees, provided for in the original protocol as important tools to oversee and strengthen implementation, are yet to be developed as it has not been possible to achieve consensus on how these committees will operate. The main point of difference has been on the use of sanctions. Although the use of sanctions is specified in the protocol, brands and suppliers have so far refused to agree that Committees should have the right to issue sanctions.
The protocol negotiations have been supported by the Play Fair Alliance, which today wrote to the six signatory brands expressing concern that failure to agree an operating procedure for the committees could have a negative impact on the protocol’s functionality. The Alliance stated that all parties will need to consider what compromises can be made prior to the next meeting, scheduled for 20 July.
An overview of what steps brands have taken to implement the protocol is available at http://www.play-fair.org/media/index.php/workers-rights/brand-performance/