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Sam Brown may be best known as the anti-Vietnam war activist who in 1968 engineered U.S. Senator Eugene McCarthy’s presidential campaign and the next year organized the Vietnam Moratorium in Washington, D.C. But he has certainly kept up with the times. Serving since then as Colorado state treasurer; director of ACTION, overseeing the Peace Corps and VISTA in the Carter administration; U.S. ambassador to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe under Clinton; and most recently, an Internet entrepreneur, he’s now the champion for corporate responsibility in the global economy as the new executive director of the Fair Labor Association. Although Brown has no specific experience in labor rights, his variegated background lends itself well to a post that requires him to navigate cautiously between wildly disparate interests. Settled into the FLA’s spanking new office in downtown Washington, the affable 57-year-old speaks animatedly about labor conditions, globalization, and the tense negotiations he’s been steering since he was hired by the board last February. “There’s blood on the floor over this stuff,” says Brown, his blue eyes flashing. In a bright blue striped shirt and red and blue tie, the graying, bearded director looks almost lonely in the space, where cubicles are still largely empty. Brown expects his staff of seven to more than double by the end of the year. So far, Brown has spent most of his time on drafting and diplomacy, getting all sides to agree on principles and the monitoring document that will guide monitors’ inspections. The document will explain what to ask workers and managers, which records to review, and how to check health and safety conditions. He also keeps trying to get more organizations and companies to sign on. The FLA is made up of corporations and consumer, labor, and human rights groups that include the International Labor Rights Fund, the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights, the National Consumers League, and the National Council of Churches. The following corporations are currently affiliated, but still must submit a monitoring plan for approval: Adidas-Salomon A.G., Eddie Bauer, Inc., GEAR for Sports, Kathie Lee Gifford, Levi Strauss & Co., Liz Claiborne, Inc., L.L. Bean, Inc., Nicole Miller, Nike, Inc., Patagonia, Phillips Van-Heusen Corp., and Reebok International Ltd. The FLA also includes 146 university affiliates, which promise that companies producing goods under their licenses are operating in accordance with FLA principles and the Workplace Code of Conduct. The association is governed by a board of directors made up of six representatives from human rights, consumer, and labor rights groups, six industry representatives, a board chairman (Charles Ruff), and one college or university representative. The FLA has thus far settled on its code of conduct and the monitoring guide that will be used by the independent monitors it accredits to inspect factories that manufacture products for participating companies and for licensees of its affiliated universities. Following their investigations, these monitors will determine whether these companies are following the code and issue public reports on compliance. The detailed findings of the monitors will not be made public, however. Each participating company agrees to have 30 percent of its factories inspected by these independent monitors in the first two or three years; it also commits, within the first two years, to having its own monitors inspect all of the factories with which it contracts, “consistent with the FLA Principles of Monitoring.” The FLA Workplace Code of Conduct includes provisions prohibiting child labor, forced labor, worker harassment and abuse, and discrimination, and sets minimum standards for health and safety, freedom of association and collective bargaining, wages and benefits, work hours, and overtime. Major provisions include the following: � Factories shall not use forced labor, including prison labor or indentured labor. � No person shall be employed younger than 15 (or 14 where the law of the country of manufacture allows) or younger than the age for completing compulsory education in the country of manufacture where such age is higher than 15. � No employee shall be subject to any physical, sexual, psychological, or verbal harassment or abuse. � No person shall be subject to any discrimination in employment, including hiring, salary, benefits, advancement, discipline, termination, or retirement on the basis of gender, race, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation, nationality, political opinion, or social or ethnic origin. � Employers shall provide a safe and healthy working environment to prevent accidents and injury to health arising out of, linked with, or occurring in the course of work or as a result of the operation of employer facilities. � Employers shall recognize and respect the right of employees to freedom of association and collective bargaining. � Employers shall pay employees at least the minimum wage required by local law or the prevailing industry wage, whichever is higher, and shall provide legally mandated benefits. � Except in extraordinary business circumstances, employees shall (i) not be required to work more than the lesser of (a) 48 hours per week and 12 hours overtime or (b) the limits on regular and overtime hours allowed by the law of the country of manufacture or, where the laws of such country do not limit the hours of work, the regular workweek in such country plus 12 hours overtime and (ii) be entitled to at least one day off in every seven-day period. � In addition to their compensation for regular hours of work, employees shall be compensated for overtime hours at such premium rate as is legally required in the country of manufacture or, in those countries where such laws do not exist, at a rate at least equal to their regular hourly compensation rate. The group’s website is http://www.fairlabor.org/.

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