I have been delaying writing this post because I don’t quite know how to summarize the response from Marks aka The Canadian Tire Corporation (CTC).
First off they are very proud of signing on to the non-binding agreement in Bangladesh. The weaker agreement that many feel does little to protect workers. I quote: “Since its launch, the Alliance has focused on its goal to inspect 100 per cent of the more than 700 Alliance factories by July 2014. Inspections are now well underway—led by Bangladesh inspectors and overseen by a Committee of Experts—with more than 50 per cent of inspections completed to-date. The Alliance has also employed a comprehensive worker training program and expects more than 1,000,000 factory workers and managers to be fully trained by July 2014. Factory remediation has also begun in factories where safety concerns have been found during the inspection process.”
They further argue: “The Retail Council of Canada (“RCC”) has also been involved in the planning and implementation of the Bangladesh Worker Safety Initiative and supports both the Alliance and the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh, viewing the work of both organizations as complementary in their collective focus and dedication. Going forward, the RCC has pledged to monitor and engage with both organizations to ensure consistency and alignment. CTC also believes that a coordinated and complementary approach between the Alliance and the Accord will result in greater success. Both groups will continue to set standards and, more importantly, continue to educate and influence the Bangladeshi government, factory owners and factory management to enact real and sustainable change across the garment manufacturing industry.”
For more information visit my post on the two agreements in Bangladesh visit here.
For their standards in general:
CTC has a strict Supplier Code of Conduct, which all suppliers must carefully review, agree to and abide by in order to conduct business with us. To ensure risks are monitored and mitigated, CTC leverages world class third parties to audit our factories on an ongoing basis. We depend on our fully trained auditors and organizations to prevent, monitor, investigate and resolve any accusations or cases of bribery and corruption, if present. A stringent critical infraction process is in place for these incidents that require the attention and authorization of CTC’s senior leadership team. CTC always seeks to improve its standards and leverage best practices in its supply chain and implements ongoing monitoring and annual standard reviews to ensure adherence.
Our teams frequently visit our offshore factories to perform pre-sourcing evaluations, product quality assessments and to discuss any corrective action plans that are being implemented. The frequency of visits varies based the relationship that we have with the supplier and the volume of production that is currently underway for CTC.
From their website:
Since 2004, Mark’s began implementation of a comprehensive Supplier Code of Business Conduct (the Code) through our parent organization Canadian Tire Corporation, Limited (CTC). The Code sets standards for a wide-range of important matters including compliance with laws, wage and benefits, working conditions, the use of child or forced labour, sub-suppliers and human rights. Mark’s then completes social compliance audits, mainly with our partner Bureau Veritas (BV) (www.bureauveritas.com), based on BV’s audit standards (Mark’s Standard Code Provisions), which follow the International Labour Organizations (ILO) base standards. Through CTC, we are also involved as a founding member of the organization Canadian Retailers Advancing Responsible Trade, committed to furthering responsible trade and ending unacceptable conditions for workers around the world. Mark’s is also a founding member of Fair Factories Clearing House (FFC), founded in 2004 to create a global clearinghouse for factory information and social compliance audit reports, and provided seed funding to this organization.
The full list of companies coverd by this post is: Canadian Tire Corporation, Limited (CTC) and its Family of Companies, including Canadian Tire stores, FGL Sports (Sport Chek, Hockey Experts, Sports Experts, National Sports, Intersport, Pro Hockey Life and Atmosphere), Mark’s, PartSource and Gas+.