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Supply chain labour issues in China: ASrIA report on Impactt's "Overtime Project" examines risks & opportunities for investors

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13 October 2005

Supply Chain Labour Problems in China, a Key Risk Factor For Investors?

Author: ASrIA (Association for Sustainable and Responsible Investment in Asia)

The report...is intended to bring the results of Impactt's well regarded work on the problem of overtime in China's supply chain, to a new and broader audience...The strategies discussed in this report provide an alternative approach to the more traditional audit and compliance model and can provide assurance to investors that there are strategies that companies can adopt, which will enable them to balance high labour standards, high productivity and increased market competitiveness.

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1 September 2005

full report: "Changing Over Time: Tackling supply chain labour issues through business practice"

Author: Rosey Hurst, Hilary Murdoch & Daniella Gould, Impactt Limited

The seemingly intractable problem of long overtime hours in China had been the subject of discreet discussions among a number of retailers for a long time. In response, Impactt suggested convening a group to work together towards a shared solution... The project set out to reduce overtime by improving efficiency, human resource management and communication between management, supervisors and workers. It presented a new approach to improving labour standards, focusing on presenting a clear business case to factory managers and supporting change over time, rather than demanding immediate compliance. [companies involved: Debenhams, Hennes & Mauritz, Kingfisher, New Look, Pentland/Ellesse, Sainsbury, Body Shop, Ikea, Lambert Howarth, Marks & Spencer, Next]

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1 September 2005

[PDF] An SRI Perspective on The Impactt Overtime Project - Tackling Supply Chain Labour Issues Through Business Practice

Author: ASrIA

The Overtime Project worked with 11 purchasing companies [Debenhams, Hennes & Mauritz, Kingfisher, New Look, Pentland/Ellesse, Sainsburys, Body Shop, Ikea, Lambert Howarth, Marks & Spencer, Next] and with local partners over a period of 3 years to test the theory that by improving a factory's productivity, human resources management and internal communications, hours can be gradually reduced, while maintaining wage levels...Each purchasing company chose one of their supplier factories in China to work with on the project.

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