In ''A floor under foreign factories?'' (The Workplace, Nov. 2), Aaron Bernstein writes: ''If their factories don't pass muster or are certified but critics find violations anyway,'' companies may ''become bigger targets.'' In contrast, the SA8000 program, overseen by the Council on Economic Priorities Accreditation Agency, builds in an appeals system designed to address noncompliance at certified factories. A worker, union, or any other interested party who presents evidence to appeal an SA8000 certification triggers an objective investigation. If the alleged violation is corroborated, factory management must implement corrective action to retain SA8000 certified status.

This appeals process should accomplish three objectives: 1. Bring about real improvements in workplace conditions; 2. Maintain public confidence in certification, lessening the likelihood a company will be publicly attacked for lack of effective response; and 3. Provide a reliable independent mechanism to determine if charges are well-based.

Alice Tepper Marlin
Council on Economic Priorities
New York


Updated Nov. 19, 1998 by bwwebmaster
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