ETI (Ethical Trade Initiative) is a social association formed by companies, s and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that promote respect for workers´ rights around the world. ETI´s vision is that all employees are free from exploitation and discrimination; is to build a world where people benefit from free, safe and equal conditions.
What is Ethical Trading and Why is it Necessary?
The concept of ethical trade, wholesale or retail companies, brands and suppliers; It expresses the responsibility of improving the working conditions of the workers who produce the products they sell. Because many of the big brands, especially, are produced by workers in poor countries where laws designed to protect workers´ rights are inadequate or not enforced. In this context, companies with a commitment to ethical trade require all their suppliers to implement the laws governing workers´ rights and work. Such laws deal with issues such as wages, working hours, health and safety, and the right to join free trade s.
While commercial activities take place in many sectors in the world, the concept of ethical trading is much more difficult than it seems. Because modern supply chains are very large and complex and spread all over the world. In such an area, it is difficult for companies and relevant authorities to deal with labor issues in a wide scope. Established and working in this context, ETI aims to seek answers as a whole and to produce sustainable solutions to many problems that institutions, s or voluntary organizations have difficulty in dealing with alone.
ETI´s Roles and Responsibilities
ETI affiliate companies, s and voluntary organizations work together to solve many complex questions about the steps companies must take to conduct ethical business and how they can make a positive difference in the lives of workers. In this context, ETI identifies best practices in ethical trading. All members agree to apply the ETI Base Code, which is based on the International Labor Organization (ILO) standards.
ETI Basic Labor Law consists of the following rules in summary:
1. Workers are free to work; Forced labor of any kind is unacceptable.
2. Workers have the right to organize and join trade s.
3. Working conditions should be safe and hygienic.
4. Child labor is never acceptable.
5. The wages of the workers should be determined in an amount that will enable them to lead a comfortable life.
6. Working hours should never be longer than necessary.
7. All kinds of discrimination within the company on matters such as religion, language, race, age, gender, etc. should be prevented.
8. Regular employment should be provided.
9. Physical abuse, disciplinary punishment, threats or harsh and inhumane treatment in verbal or written form are never acceptable.
ETI also allows workers to help themselves. Workers can help create space for them to negotiate with management through s. In this context, ETI supports initiatives that raise awareness of workers´ rights in various countries around the world.
The Association also raises awareness for joint action among companies, suppliers, s, NGOs and governments to find effective and sustainable solutions to workers´ problems. It establishes partnerships in key countries and internationally, providing resources to address issues affecting not only individual workplaces but also entire countries and industries.
In today´s global economy, all companies have various problems in their supply chains. By participating in ETI, a company acknowledges these issues and makes a commitment to tackle them. For this reason, member companies have to prepare a biennial report on their work. In this context, the association enables them to increase their ethical trading performance over time and monitors their work. A strict disciplinary procedure is applied for companies that do not make sufficient progress or do not fulfill their membership obligations.
The Turkey platform of the Union also holds meetings in Turkey at certain intervals. A summary report on the annual event of the ETI Turkey Platform, which was held in Istanbul on March 27, 2018, is also shared. Officials from ETI headquarters and country offices, textile and clothing brands, suppliers, employers and producer associations, International Labor Organization (ILO) Turkey Office, International Organization for Migration (IOM) Turkey Office, United İş Turkey Project, Turkish Employment Agency (Turkish Employment Agency) participated in the one-day event. İŞKUR) and some NGOs. Each institution official takes the floor at the meeting and expresses their opinions and suggestions. Thus, for a better working environment and conditions, both the worker and the employer, as well as those who are members and volunteers.