Joyce reports on worker grievance mechanisms in China

Joyce Zhou is Fair Wear Foundation’s first Liaison Officer in China. She reports here on a meeting she attended last week on the development of grievance procedures in the Chinese garment industry.

On 22 July, The Great Britain China Centre (GBCC), Social Resources Institution (SRI) and China National Textile and Apparel Council (CNTAC) invited FWF to make a presentation at a meeting in Beijing where they were collecting input for a grievance mechanism project. Together, they are researching grievance procedures with a goal of finding mechanisms that are suitable for Chinese factories. With FWF’s factory training programme starting up, I found this was an excellent learning and sharing opportunity.

In this meeting, experts shared information on several models including the Acas grievance code; use of conciliation in solving the labour disputes in UK; the UN Protect Respect and Remedy (Ruggie) principles on grievance mechanisms as applied in Vietnam; and good practices in communication between employer and employee in China.

I presented information about Fair Wear Foundation, the FWF complaint handling procedure and the factory training program.  Participants were interested in our complaint handling work and asked many questions on topics such as the most common issues raised by garment workers; how FWF investigates complaints; and whether all factories are willing to cooperate.

Meetings like this one are an important way that FWF stays up-to-date with the developments in the field and thinking from other organisations and stakeholder groups working on similar issues.

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