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Article

4 Mar 2020

Author:
Electronics Watch

Cal-Comp case shows necessity of worker-driven monitoring in detecting & addressing migrant worker debt bondage, says report

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“Cal-Comp: A Lesson in the Importance of Worker Driven Monitoring to Enforced Labour in Global Supply Chains”, 28 February 2020

[M]igrant workers at [Cal-Comp Thailand]…[now] hold their own passports and work permits, [are]…directly employed by Cal-Comp…and have contracts…in their native languages. One main buyer, HP, reported…modification of recruitment agent contracts…[and]… worker communication and training on pay-slip content, voluntary overtime and... chemicals. Cal-Comp agreed to reimburse all current [and former] migrant workers…hired on or after 1 January 2016 [in what is possibly],… the single largest settlement of migrant worker recruitment fees [by] any one company globally.

[Ensuring workers]…have a voice and understand their rights,…still do not address…the silencing of workers rooted in the conditions of employment, organisation of production, and the fundamental imbalance of power. Companies do not end forced labour in their supply chains...without the involvement of workers and civil society, but companies...using their collective leverage. [T]he [length] of…this case suggests that electronics companies should devote more resources to finding solutions to…debt bondage in their supply chains. 

Many companies are…committed to ethical and zero-cost recruitment...[b]ut putting such commitments into action is a different matter. The Cal-Comp case shows that workers must be…able to report on their recruitment experiences on terms that respect their safety and interests, and they must have a voice and influence equal to companies in the remediation process. When the Cal-Comp remediation process is complete, ...it [is hoped that it] can serve as a model to galvanise action across the electronics and other industries towards responsible business action and worker-centred solutions to forced labour in global supply chains.

 

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