On 25 March 2015, BSCI successfully launched its new Grievance Mechanisms Pilot Project in China, the top sourcing country for BSCI participants. Over 30 representatives from 14 participating factories had the chance to learn how effective grievance mechanisms can contribute strongly to worker wellbeing and benefit companies, whether they are starting a programme from scratch or improving an existing one.
Under BSCI 2.0, participants should work with their producers to set up effective channels for workers on factories and farms in their supply chain, to voice any concerns related to their professional activity. Grievance mechanisms work to anticipate, prevent and remediate conflict, which also enhances productivity and workforce stability. They are an important part of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, which are integrated in the BSCI Code of Conduct. BSCI selected local service provider Impactt Ltd., to ensure that producers in China have the chance to empower workers through helping them to set up an effective grievance mechanism based on the real issues in their individual workplace.
The BSCI System Manual includes an Annex that explains the principles of a successful grievance mechanism, whatever form the company chooses as its means of grievance mechanism. Click here to download the BSCI 2.0 Annex: How to Set up a Grievance Mechanism
During the pilot, producers are first identified to undergo the preparation stage during which they are guided in project planning to build an effective framework model for grievance mechanisms. Following this, the implementation stage involves a briefing on the grievance mechanism concept with group discussion, as well as an onsite meeting for each producer and finally, an offline desktop review of plans and advice to producers. Recommendations are then made for the factory's improvement in developing a grievance mechanism.
The outcome of the pilot project will be the submission of key findings and results from each producer to BSCI in order to develop and design producer workshops and pilots in China which aim to roll out in other important sourcing countries. One producer will be invited to present the learning outcomes at the forthcoming FTA Sustainability Conference on 1 and 2 June in Brussels.