Page 3: Trade unions and civil society groups
Primark works with a variety of civil society groups and trade unions around the world. These organisations share a common goal of protecting the rights of workers. Primark uses many different methods to engage with these groups. Predominantly Primark’s engagement involves listening to the different perspectives of the people involved, learning about the issues that these groups face and establishing methods, often in partnership with stakeholders, to overcome these issues. Two key organisations that enable Primark to do this are the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) and the International Labour Organisation’s Better Work programme.
Ethical Trading Initiative
Primark has been a member of the ETI since 2006. This is a tripartite alliance of over 60 companies, trade unions and nongovernment organisations (NGOs). The alliance works to improve the lives of people working in supply chains across the globe. Primark submits an annual report to ETI about its ethical programme and performance. The ETI has reported that Primark has achieved ongoing improvements in 'working conditions and respect for worker rights by engagement with suppliers, trade unions, governments and customers ' and most recently in 2011 that 'Primark is now one of the highest scoring members '.
Better Work Partnership
Primark joined the Better Work partnership in 2010. This is a major international partnership set up by the UN’s International Labour Organisation to improve labour practices across the globe. The programme consists of factory assessments, advice and training provided by local experts. This partnership aims to ensure that there is adherence to international standards, such as a ban on any use of child or forced labour, limits on the number of hours in the working week and proper leave entitlements.
Primark believes that collaborations with these stakeholders are key to achieving sustainable and efficient solutions to the challenges faced by the textile manufacturing industry. More generally, Primark supports and encourages improvements for workers in its suppliers’ factories. It works with partners who understand local market conditions as well as having global expertise.