Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

U.N. Panel Targets Labor Abuses

May 16, 1997|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

The United Nation's labor organization plans to inaugurate a global system of workplace certification that will give multinational companies that use local contractors an important new tool for determining if workplaces are free of child labor and other abuses.

The International Labor Organization proposes to develop standards that manufacturers will have to meet to receive a stamp of approval, and to monitor continued compliance with those standards.

Michel Barton, a public information officer with the ILO, said the system will allow companies to validate their claims of safe and humane working conditions to consumers and shareholders. He called the ILO "the only credible international body in this domain to read the law, to say what's right."

The ILO plan is the second major bid to eliminate workplace abuse at factories that supply corporate giants. President Clinton last month endorsed a voluntary code of conduct proposed by a White House-selected panel.

Both plans prohibit child labor and job discrimination. However, the U.S. code addresses specific issues--placing limits on working hours, for example--and the ILO plan would ensure broader freedoms, such as the right to opt for unions that could bargain for minimum standards.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|