P.O. Box 124, Berkeley, CA 94701-0124 • 510-558-1014 • garrettdbrown@comcast.net


WHO WE ARE
NEW POSTINGS
NETWORK RESOURCES
GENERAL OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH & SAFETY
CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY AND ITS FAILURES
bullet BANGLADESH OHS PROJECTS
bullet ALTA GRACIA PROJECT — "No Sweat" factory in the DR
bullet GLOBAL ELECTRONICS INDUSTRY HEALTH AND SAFETY HAZARDS
MEXICO HEALTH & SAFETY PROJECTS
ACTIVITIES IN CENTRAL AMERICA
ASIA HEALTH & SAFETY PROJECTS
GLOBALIZATION ISSUES
SUPPORT & SOLIDARITY

WHO WE ARE

The Maquiladora Health & Safety Support Network is a volunteer network of 300 occupational safety and health professionals who have placed their names on a resource list to provide information, technical assistance and on-site instruction regarding workplace hazards to worker and community organizations in the developing world. Network members, including industrial hygienists, toxicologists, epidemiologists, occupational physicians and nurses, and health educators among others, are donating their time and expertise to create safer and healthier working conditions for workers employed by transnational corporations around the world.

Since 1993, the Network has expanded its work from Mexico to include projects in Bangladesh, Central American, China, the Dominican Republic, Indonesia, and Vietnam. Our goal has always been to build the capacity of workers and their organizations to understand occupational health and safety issues and to be able to speak and act in their own name to protect their health and to exercise their rights. Our activities have included providing information and trainings to workers, plant-wide health and safety committees, and to community, human rights and professional associations; technical assistance to workers filing complaints under international trade agreements; and technical information for grassroots organizations monitoring the performance of transnational corporations and government health and safety agencies in the global economy.

The Support Network is not designed to generate, nor is it intended to create, business opportunities for private consultants or other for-profit enterprises. On the contrary, Network participants will be donating their time and knowledge pro bono to workers, community organizations and professional associations.

The Maquiladora Health & Safety Support Network was launched in October 1993 at the annual meeting of the American Public Health Association (APHA). It includes occupational health specialists primarily from Canada, Mexico and the United States who are active in the APHA, American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA), American Conference of Government Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH), American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE), National Safety Council (NSC) and the 20-plus local grassroots Committees for Occupational Safety and Health (COSH) groups in the U.S. and Canada.

The Support Network is continuously seeking more health and safety professionals and activists to join the network, as well as looking for more worker and community organizations who can make use of the information and technical assistance offered. Please join us!

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NEW POSTINGS
“Hansae Vietnam garment factory: Latest example of how corporate social responsibility has failed to protect workers,” Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene, August 2017
“Bangladesh Accord extended three years – worker protections strengthened, proponents promote an ‘alternative to standard CSR programs’,” The Pump Handle, July 18, 2017
“OHS Rights” newsletter of the Asian Network for the Rights of Occupational and Environmental Victims (ANROEV), No. 40, January-June 2017
   
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NETWORK RESOURCES
Key Articles from the Network
 
bullet “Latest data on working conditions in global supply chains, September 2017 edition,” The Pump Handle, September 21, 2017
bullet “Keeping track of working conditions and workers’ rights in global supply chains,” The Pump Handle, June 20, 2017
bullet “Global supply chains still full of sweatshops,” The Pump Handle, September 21, 2016
bullet "Factory certification schemes pose danger to safety & health profession," Industrial Safety and Hygiene News, May 2013 (PDF – 1.4MB)
"Now is the time for us to become the leaders we have been waiting for" presentation by MHSSN Coordinator Garrett Brown at WorkSafe Conference on March 25, 2011, in Emeryville, CA; reprinted in New Solutions, 2011 (PDF)
bullet Genuine Worker Participation—An Indipansable Key to Effective Global OH article by Garrett Brown in New Solutions, Vol. 19(3) 2009 (PDF)
“Mexico’s daycare fire: not even babies are protected,” Garrett Brown at “The Pump Handle” blog, July 23, 2009
“Why Immigrant Workers Are Coming to the U.S., and How We Can and Need to Work Together" (speech by Garrett Brown to the Immigrant Workers in Construction Conference, Center to Protect Workers Rights, Sacramento, CA, on April 12, 2007)
“Immigrant Workers Are Our Allies, Not Our Enemies" (speech by Garrett Brown to the Center to Protect Worker Rights conference in Tijuana, Mexico, on August 15, 2005)
“Protecting Workers’ Health and Safety in the Globalizing Economy through International Trade Treaties”  (by Garrett Brown, International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health, April–June 2005) (PDF)
Why NAFTA Failed and What’s Needed to Protect Workers’ Health and Safety in International Trade Treaties  (by Garrett Brown, December 2004) (PDF)
"Speak Out: Portrait of a Failure, NAFTA and Workplace Health and Safety" (by Garrett Brown, The Synergist, August 2004)
Key Statements from the Network
 
MHSSN and OHS Professional Associations
 
"MHSSN letter to the National Safety Council's Safety & Health magazine, January 2013." (PDF)
AIHA's The Synergist "Honor Roll" column about MHSSN receiving the 2011 "Social Responsibility" award
AIHA's The Synergist Blog interview with MHSSN Coordinator Garrett Brown
Network Reading and Resource Lists
 
January 2011 Lists

August–November 2010 Lists

2009 Lists

2008 and earlier Lists
Network Newsletters
 
Newsletters from 1997 to 2012
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GENERAL OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH & SAFETY
International Labor Organization (the United Nations' labor research and educational office)
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (research institute for workplace health & safety in the United States)
Canadian Centre for Occupational Safety & Health
Asia Pacific Occupational Safety and Health Organization
Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) (regional component of the World Health Organization)
New York Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health (NYCOSH, New York City)
WORKSAFE! (A California Coalition for Worker Occupational Safety & Health Protection)
"Hazards" magazine (Sheffield, England)
Hesperian Health Guides (a non-profit publisher of community-based health care materials)
International Chemical Safety Cards (A superb initiative to provide easy-to-read safety information on numerous chemicals from the World Health Organization's International Labor Office - better than MSDSs - and in eight languages)
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CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY AND ITS FAILURES
Key Website to Monitor Corporate Social Responsibility Reports
 
Business & Human Rights: A Resource Website (online library of key documents)
MHSSN Resource Lists
 
“CSR Articles and Reports, July-September 2017”
“Keeping track of working conditions and workers’ rights in global supply chains,” The Pump Handle, June 20, 2017
“Resources and references for standards and code related to child and forced labor in global supply chains,” July 2017
June 2017 – Internet resources and articles (PDF)
May 2017 – Internet resources (PDF) 
February 2017 – Internet resources (PDF)
Key Articles from the Network
 
“Latest data on working conditions in global supply chains, September 2017 edition,” The Pump Handle, September 21, 2017
“Hansae Vietnam garment factory: Latest example of how corporate social responsibility has failed to protect workers,” Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene, August 2017
“The corporate social responsibility mirage,” Industrial Safety & Hygiene News, May 2017
“Worker Revolt in Myanmar Smashes garment factory and apparel brands’ false promises,” The Pump Handle, April 10, 2017
“Hansae Vietnam: Case study of hazardous working conditions and the failure of corporate social responsibility audits to fix the hazards,’ The Pump Handle, December 13, 2016”
“Global supply chains still full of sweatshops,” The Pump Handle, September 21, 2016
"Factory certification schemes pose danger to safety & health profession," Industrial Safety and Hygiene News, May 2013 (PDF – 1.4MB)
"Fatal Flaws of Foreign Factory Audits: 'A spectacular failure' to improve conditions" Industrial Safety and Hygiene News, February 2013 (PDF)
"MHSSN Statement on CSR Monitoring of Global Supply Chain Factories" January 2013
“Corporate Social Responsibility: The moment of truth arrives,” article by Garrett Brown in the May 2009 Industrial Safety and Hygiene News (also available as a PDF)
“Genuine Worker Participation – An Indispensable Key to Effective Global OHS"  a presentation by Garrett Brown, Professional Conference in Industrial Hygiene, AIHA Academy of Industrial Hygiene, November 10, 2008 (PDF)
“Perils of a schizoid business model "  article by Garrett Brown, in Industrial Safety & Hygiene News, September 2, 2008
“Corporate Social Responsibility Brings Limited Progress on Workplace Safety in Global Supply Chains" (by Garrett Brown, Occupational Hazards, August 1, 2007)
“Why sweatshops won’t go away,” by Garrett Brown, Industrial Safety & Hygiene News, June 1, 2006
“ISO's Social Responsibility guidelines: A small step forward — maybe" (column by Garrett Brown, Industrial Safety and Hygiene News, September 2005)
More Articles and Reports on CSR
 

“The Occupational Health and Safety Professional Capability Framework; A global framework for practice” and the “Singapore Accord,” INSHPO, September 2017

“The Need for Standardized Sustainability Reporting Practices; Issues relating corporate disclosure of information on occupational health & safety performance,” Center for Safety and Health Sustainability, August 2017

“Removing Barriers to Justice; How a treaty on business and human rights could improve access to remedy for victims,” Daniel Blackburn, commissioned by eight European non-governmental organizations, August 2017

“The problem with Corporate Social Responsibility,” Jennifer Gordon, Fordham University School of Law, July 11, 2017

“Purchasing practices and working conditions in global supply chains: Global survey results,” International Labor Organization, INWORK Issue Brief No. 10, June 2017

“Follow The Thread; The need for supply chain transparency in the garment and footwear industry,” April 2017
“Saving the world, one meaningless buzzword at a time; How corporations, activists and politicians turned the language of human rights into meaningless babble,” Michael Hobbes, Foreign Policy, March 2017
List of Selected Labor Rights Organizations
 
Asia Monitor Resource Center (Hong Kong)
Asian Network for the Rights of Occupational and Environmental Victims (ANROEV)
Baptist World Aid, Behind the Barcode (Australia)
China Labor Watch (USA)
China Labour Bulletin (Hong Kong)
Clean Clothes Campaign (Amsterdam)
European Coalition for Corporate Justice (UK)
Fashion Revolution (UK)
Good Electronics (Amsterdam)
Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights (USA)
International Labor Rights Forum (USA)
Maquila Solidarity Network (Canada)
Worker-Driven Social Responsibility (USA)
Maquiladora Health & Safety Support Network (USA)
Worker Rights Consortium (USA)
List of Selected CSR Organizations
 
Association of Professional Social Compliance Auditors (Australia)
Better Work (ILO and IFC)
Business for Social Responsibility (USA)
CSR Asia (Hong Kong)
Ethical Corporation (UK)
Ethical Trading Initiative (UK)
Fair Labor Association (USA)
Innovation Forum (UK)
Verite (USA)
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BANGLADESH OHS PROJECTS
“What does that $14 shirt really cost?” From the archives: "Bangladesh disaster raises tough questions about cheap clothes," Rosemary Westwood, Maclean’s, May 1, 2013 (PDF)
Periodic list of key media articles and reports on OHS issues in Bangladesh
Major articles and reports
 
News from the OHS Initiative for Workers and Community (Dhaka)
Newsletters of the International Labor Organization Dhaka Office
Newsletters of the OSHE Foundation in Dhaka, Bangladesh
Selected list of 2016 articles and reports
Selected list of 2015 articles and reports
Selected list of articles and reports before 2015
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ALTA GRACIA PROJECT — "No Sweat" factory in the DR
Alta Gracia factory follow-up report, MHSSN health and safety inspection, February 2011 (PDF)
“No sweat”: In the Dominican Republic article by Garrett Brown in Industrial Safety and Hyg October 1, 2010
bullet “No-Sweat” Factory in Dominican Republic Focuses on Worker Safety article in the newsletter "Bridges" from COEH (Center for Occupational & Environmental Health), UC Berkeley, Summer 2010
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GLOBAL ELECTRONICS INDUSTRY HEALTH AND SAFETY HAZARDS
Good Electronics  — website and publications
“The Blind; An untold story behind Samsung and LG cell phones,” Korean non-governmental organizations, May 2017
Global Electronics Factories in Spotlight  article by Garrett Brown in the Occupational Health & Safety Magazine, August 4, 2010
Worker Suicides At Foxconn plant in Shenzhen, China — Supplier for Apple, Dell and Hewlett-Packard June 2010
Dozens of Cancer Deaths At Samsung Electronics Plants in Korea — Young Workers Die In “Cancer Factories” June 2010
Electronics: Poster Child of the 21st Century Sweatshops and Despoiler of the Environment? article by Garrett Brown in EHS Today, September 2009 (PDF)
Selected List of Reports on Working Conditions in the Global Electronics Industry (July 2009)
Selected List of Organizations and Current Campaign in the Global Electronics Industry (July 2009)
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TR00246A.gif (1506 bytes) MEXICO HEALTH & SAFETY PROJECTS
MEXICO-RELATED LAW AND GOVERNMENT RESOURCES
Mexican Law (ForInt-Law - Mexico, an excellent resource to the Mexican Constitution, and government and laws of Mexico; from Washburn University School of Law Library)
National Law Center for Inter-American Free Trade (a business-oriented free trade support research center which has useful info)
Guide to Mexican Environmental Law
"MexRegs" (commercial newsletter and database)
"Speak Out: Portrait of a Failure, NAFTA and Workplace Health and Safety" (by Garrett Brown, The Synergist, August 2004)
Key NAFTA 10th Anniversary Reports
NAFTA’s 10 Year Failure to Protect Mexican Workers’ Health and Safety (by Garrett Brown, December 2004) (PDF)
CANANEA COPPER MINE PROJECT
Presentation of Ingrid Zubieta of UCLA LOSH on the Cananea mine project at the national meeting of National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) in October 2009 (PDF)
Cananea Copper Mine: An International OHS Project  (PDF) article in the January 2009 issue of the International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health (IJOEH)
“International OHS Through the Looking Glass of the Global Economy" article by Garrett Brown, in Occupational Hazards, January 1, 2008
“Health and Safety Report from Cananea, Mexico, Copper Mine"
Final Report (PDF)
Versión en Español (PDF)
Photographs of workplace health and safety hazards at Grupo Mexico's Cananea copper mine, October 7, 2007.
MHSSN response to GM-STPS
MHSSN statement on the release of the Final Report
HEALTH & SAFETY COMPLAINTS FILED UNDER NAFTA
Analysis of the complaint process by Human Rights Watch: 'Trading Away Rights: The Unfilled Promises of the NAFTA Labor Side Agreement (April 2001) www.hrw.org/reports/2001/nafta

Complaint by workers at the Autotrim plant in Matamoros and Customtrim/Breed Mexicana plant in Valle Hermoso (June 2000)

Text of Network testimony at the U.S. NAO hearing in San Antonio, TX, (December 12, 2000)

NIOSH Report on visits to Autotrim and Customtrim plants (March 7, 2001) (PDF)

July 6, 2001 letter to the U.S. NAO with proposed remedies

November 20, 2001 letter to the U.S. NAO protesting lack of action

December 12, 2001 letter to U.S. Labor Secretary Elaine Chao proposing the creation of an "Evaluation Committee of Experts"
March 20, 2002 letter to U.S. Labor Secretary Elaine Chao protesting her refusal to convoke an "Evaluation Committee of Experts"
CJM Fact Sheet on Customtrim/Autotrim Complaint
35 Members of Congress Write Labor Secretary Chao Demanding Action on Autotrim/Customtrim (May 7, 2002)
US-Mexico "Joint Declaration" to close the Autotrim/Customtrim case (June 11, 2002)
CJM Statement on the June 11th US-Mexico Joint Declaration (June 19, 2002)
UE President Hovis letter to Secretary Chao (July 24, 2002)
Senators Kennedy and Wellstone letter to Secretary Chao (August 23, 2002)
CJM Letter to Labor Secretaries Chao and Abascal (September 6, 2002)
AT/CT Submitters Letter to the 3 NAFTA Labor Secretaries (October 7, 2003)
US Department of Labor response to October 2003 letter (December 15, 2003) (PDF)
Canada's Labour Ministry response to October 2003 letter (December 18, 2003) (PDF)
March 15, 2004 letter to Canada's Labour Minister and US Labor Department
Complaint by workers at the Han Young plant in Tijuana (February 1998)

Text of Network testimony at the U.S. NAO hearing in San Diego, CA, on February 18, 1998

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ACTIVITIES IN CENTRAL AMERICA
Report on Guatemala Training (December 2004)

CAFTA Reports

Final Report of Central America Health and Safety Training, September 2003
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ASIA HEALTH & SAFETY PROJECTS
Newsletter of the Asian Network for the Rights of Occupational and Environmental Health Victims (ANROEV)

Vietnam 

In October 2016, Network Coordinator Garrett Brown and industrial hygienist Enrique Medina were asked by the Workers Rights Consortium in Washington, DC to conduct a site inspection of a Korean-operated garment factory in Vietnam which produces for major international apparel corporations, including Nike.

Materials related to the factory audit include the following:

“Hansae Vietnam garment factory: Latest example of how corporate social responsibility has failed to protect workers,” Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene, August 2017
“Hansae Vietnam: Case study of hazardous working conditions and the failure of corporate social responsibility audits to fix the hazards,’ The Pump Handle, December 13, 2016”
“Workers Rights Consortium Factory Assessment, Hansae Vietnam Co., Ltd. (Vietnam); Findings, Recommendation, Status Update,” - Workers Rights Consortium, December 6, 2016
“Report of Occupational Health and Safety Audit at Hansae Vietnam Company Limited,” Maquiladora Health & Safety Support Network and Alliance Consulting International,” October 21, 2016 (PDF)
“Working life in the latest corporate supply chain ‘Promised Land’ – Vietnam,” The Pump Handle, October 28, 201 6 (PDF)
Myanmar
“Worker Revolt in Myanmar Smashes garment factory and apparel brands’ false promises,” The Pump Handle, April 10, 2017
“The Myanmar Dilemma; Can the garment industry deliver decent jobs for workers in Myanmar?” SOMO, et. al., February 2017
 

In January 2000, Network Coordinator Garrett Brown and Professor Dara O'Rourke of MIT received a two-year grant from the MacArthur Foundation to conduct capacity-building trainings on occupational safety and health topics with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Asia.

The first training occurred in Jakarta, Indonesia, in June 2000 with 32 representatives of 12 NGOs and six trade unions. A follow-up training with these participants and others occurred in February 2002.

The second training occured in August 2001 in Dongguan City, China, at a 30,000-worker sports shoe factory. The training involved participants from NGOs in Hong Kong and China, Hong Kong trade unions, labor practices staff of adidas, Reebok and Nike, and production workers and supervisors/managers of three plants in Guangdong Province.

Indonesia
Report from LION in Indonesia on MHSSN-funded training in Tangerang in July 2011 (PDF — 7MB)
The Asia Health and Safety Training Project—Training Activists in Indonesia June and February 2002: FINAL REPORT (March 19, 2003)
Main Report (PDF)
Appendix 1: agenda (PDF)
Appendix 2: prepost evaluation worksheet (PDF)
Appendix 3: follow-up survey (PDF)
Appendix 4: teaching agenda (PDF)
June 2000 training of NGOs and Union staff and activists in Jakarta, Indonesia
Indonesia: Follow-up Training Held in February 2002
China
“Made in China” journal, September 2017
“Made in China” journal, June 2017
“Made in China” journal, March 2017
“Made in China” journal, December 2016
“Lean Manufacturing Comes to China" (PDF) article in the July-September 2007 issue of the International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health
“ISHN Global Watch: China proposes worker protection law” (by Garrett Brown, Industrial Safety & Hygiene News, May 24, 2007)
Memorandum of Understanding for July 2001 training of NGO staff, Hong Kong union staff, international brand staff, plant supervisors and workers in Dongguan City, China
China: March 2002 Evaluation Visits to Three Giant Footwear Plants
Final Report of the Coordinating Committee of the "China Capacity Building Project—Occupational Health and Safety" May 29, 2002
International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health, Volume 9, Number 4, October/December 2003 (Special Issue: Occupational Health and Safety in China)
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GLOBALIZATION ISSUES
The growth of the maquiladora plants on the U.S.-Mexico border, and increasingly throughout Mexico, is part of the economic "globalization" process which has affected all corners of the world. The issues of workplace and safety in the maquilas is closely linked to the issues of labor practices in the "export processing zones" and "sweatshops" in both developing and developed economies.

The following information is offered to help understand the context and challenges facing occupational health professionals in the Mexican maquilas and similar facilities throughout the world. The following references are only a small portion of the websites, organizations and publications that exist on this issue.

Codes of Conduct and Monitoring Systems

Fair Labor Association (US)

Workers Rights Consortium (US)

Social Accounting International (US)

Clean Clothes Campaign (Holland)

Ethical Trading Initiative (UK)

International Organization Codes of Conduct

“Resources and references for standards and code related to child and forced labor in global supply chains,” July 2017
“OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains in the Garment and Footwear Sector,” Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, February 2017

International Labor Organization (ILO): ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work (1998)

Organization for Cooperation and Economic Development (OCED): OCED Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises (2000)

United Nations (UN): The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women

Selected Articles and Reports
“Free on-line course on ‘decent work in global supply chains’ offered by the Global Labour University,” The Pump Handle, November 29, 2016
PCIH 2008 Resource Flyer  (Genuine Worker Participation in Plant OHS Programs — Selected Resources)
“Genuine Worker Participation – An Indispensable Key to Effective Global OHS"  a presentation by Garrett Brown, Professional Conference in Industrial Hygiene, AIHA Academy of Industrial Hygiene, November 10, 2008 (PDF)
"The Global Threats to Workers' Health and Safety on the Job" by Garrett Brown, Social Justice, Vol. 29, No.3
Ethical Performance (British newsletter on corporate responsibility worldwide)
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SUPPORT AND SOLIDARITY
NAFTA Countries
CorpWatch
Global Exchange
International Labor Rights Fund
Maquila Solidarity Network (Canada)
Mexico Solidarity Network
Americas Program
Asian Countries
Asia Monitor Resource Center (Hong Kong)
Asian Network for the Rights of Occupational and Environmental Victims (ANROEV)
Global
Child Labor Coalition
Clean Clothes Campaign
Ethical Trading Initiative
Global Labour Inspectors Network
Women in Informal Employment Globalizing and Organizing (WIEGO)
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This site was last revised October 2017

Please send comments to:

Garrett Brown, the Network coordinator, at "garrettdbrown@comcast.net"

Heather Block, the webmaster, at "hblockdesign@gmail.com"