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Garment Sector Roundtable seeks solutions in Bangalore
08
Oct '12
The Garment Sector Roundtable (GSR) was launched in January 2011 to bring together multiple garment industry stakeholders in Bangalore, including multi-national brands, domestic manufacturers, industry associations, trade unions and research institutions.  Through the GSR, Fair Labor Association (FLA) and the other participants seek to collaborate in open-minded and creative ways.

The GSR is a forum designed to build trust among local stakeholders who may, at times, seem to have competing interests. Participants seek to build healthy relationships while facilitating dialogue around key issues that impact the industry. Namely, the GSR has stimulated vital conversation, research and action around three core topics: labor shortage and high labor turnover; freedom of association; and wages. In discussing and acting on these issues, local stakeholders have collectively identified both differences and shared interests as they have moved toward common goals.
 
The GSR has resulted in a number of key ongoing projects to the benefit of workers, manufacturers and brands. A Women’s Supervisory Training program for female tailors in Bangalore factories is in operation, and a Joint Fact Finding initiative on the factors contributing to labor shortages and turnover in India’s garment industry is underway.  Both of these efforts reflect the value and utility of GSR’s local, roundtable, multi-stakeholder approach to resolving worker and industry issues across the supply chain.
 
At the July 2012 meeting, the GSR discussed and analyzed a recent wage dispute in Karnataka that was resolved through direct communication between the union and the manufacturer. The GSR itself was cited as one reason why this communication was both initiated and subsequently resolved. Such a tangible outcome validates the local roundtable format of GSR. Dozens of participants – the FLA included – plan to continue supporting the GSR as its efforts to facilitate trust and dialogue among local stakeholders unfold.

Fair Labor Association (FLA)

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