The S in ESG or the social component, includes factors such as human rights, relationships with main stakeholders – mainly workers and communities, business ethics, supply chain management, diversity and inclusion, and social impacts resulting from corporate operations.
Since it was founded in 1991, AHM and its member companies have set an example with sustainability initiatives in the communities where the industry and its companies operate. Many of these initiatives are derived from the dialogue mechanism established in the Bipartite and Tripartite Commissions.
By providing structured support and a range of sustainability-related services to its member companies, AHM facilitates and enhances industry wide positive impact on operations, communities and society.
As an industry association, AHM has a solid and constructive relationship with all the textile and apparel industry stakeholders, which has proven to be key in its role as a facilitator in all areas for its consolidation.
A case in point: DIALOGUE – THE BIPARTITE AND TRIPARTITE COMMISSIONS
The bipartite commission is comprised of AHM companies and industry workers representatives, it becomes the tripartite commission when the government participates.
This dialogue space is unique to the Honduran textile and apparel sector.
For years, since 1994, the industry’s workers and company representatives have used this permanent dialogue to, together, find solutions to common challenges in a broad range of domains such as better access to health, housing and community child care. Many of those solutions have become institutionalized or used as examples for national policy, such as the housing and health projects – but also many others that are related to the environment, and social issues in communities.
Caring for workers and communities
Social impact can be evaluated through the collection of quantitative and qualitative data that together paint a full picture. It encompasses an increasingly interrelated set of employee and community indicators that extend beyond amount of resources invested, towards an understanding of the overall value generated. This supports the hypothesis that company performance correlates directly with value generated for people.
ELCATEX’s sustainability approach is based on four pillars: Health, Environment, Education, and Community impact.
“Lead community impact initiatives through our institutional values, Caring and Making a Difference in the quality of life of our employees, their families, the communities and Our Country”
One example of many of its initiatives: is their Community Education Outreach
- Educational innovation initiative that integrates stakeholders to carry out the transformations that education demands and, at the same time, face the challenges that the health emergency caused by COVID-19 has brought in the educational field.
- Working with 15 Educational Centers Of Choloma and San Pedro Sula, 28 Schools Principals, 70 Teachers and 23 Parents in:
- improvement of pedagogical practices,
- strengthening of Educational management,
- support in the consolidation of the Annual Operational Plan and
- development of curricula with the Education Outreach methodology.
“All with the purpose of strengthening the educational system of our country and guaranteeing a better future for our children and young people.”
“We seek to continuously improve our approach to better address challenges and to enhance our programs to meet the needs of workers and their communities.” https://www.fotlinc.com/sustainability/people-centric/
- Fostering an Inclusive Culture is one of the highlights in the People –Centric pillar of Fruit of the Loom’s Fruitful Futures, the company’s global sustainability plan published in 2020.
- In Honduras, Fruit of the Loom makes a difference in the lives of its workers and the communities it operates in. It has an impressive volunteer program “Acción Voluntaria” through which it carries out amazing work for workers, their families and communities.
- It has a broad range of initiatives that it implements throughout the communities where it is present. Among them, support of social infrastructure – rebuilding and furnishing schools and health clinics to improve access to education and health services in communities.
The largest woven and printed label producer in the Western Hemisphere, and the paper packaging partner of choice for the top names in the apparel industry – through its operation in Honduras and the FINOTEX ILUMINA project, FINOTEX has been providing solar powered lightbulbs to communities who do not have access to electricity in Honduras since 2019.
The life-changing impact of “bringing light” is evident in communities where life came to a stop with the fall of dusk. Now, the inhabitants can make the most of time thanks to the sustainable solution FINOTEX ILUMINA has provided… the families can carry on with their activities and children can now do homework after dark.
Recognized for its sustainability leadership, “Hanes has been operating for more than 29 years in Honduras, where it has nine clothing and sewing plants for the manufacture of bras, sportswear, T-shirts, silk-screen garments – and now masks and gowns. The Company employs about 9,000 Hondurans, which represents a third of its workforce globally.” https://hbisustains.com/
We want to build on decades of effort to continue being a positive force within our communities.
One of the many initiatives, empowering talent in the community through continuing education. The addition of new courses are dedicated to coping with the COVID-19 environment have an impact beyond employees since they implement the knowledge at home and in their communities.
HANESBRANDS PIVOTS TO VIRTUAL LEARNING TO PRESERVE EMPLOYEE CONTINUING EDUCATION PROGRAM DURING COVID-19 PANDEMIC
Thousands of employees working toward high school diplomas and enrolled in college, technical and vocational programs in Central America and Caribbean
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Thursday, September 17, 2020
In addition to emergency production of face masks and re-opening manufacturing facilities in a safety-first manner in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, HanesBrands also has pivoted to remote learning to preserve its popular continuing education program for employees in Central America and the Caribbean.
The program, which has helped more than 2,700 employees earn high school diplomas and nearly 200 earn college degrees, has more than 700 employees in El Salvador, Honduras and the Dominican Republic studying virtually to complete high school degrees using the public education platforms in each country.
New courses are dedicated to coping with the COVID-19 environment, and new educational opportunities include an MBA program for manager-level employees.
“For more than a decade, we have successfully provided our employees one of the most sought-after resources – access to education,” said Maria Elena Sikaffy, HanesBrands’ vice president of human resources for supply chain operations in Central America and the Caribbean Basin where the company has more than 25,000 employees. “In spite of the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, we continue to invest in our employees and support their desires to enhance their personal and professional development opportunities.
AHM Partnerships for Women Empowerment
A substantial percentage of the associates and collaborators working in the industry are women, especially in the factories in the apparel supply chain (52%). Our member companies provide good quality jobs, which in turn catalyze women’s economic empowerment, offer measures to balance work and family, and operate in an environment free from discrimination and harassment.
AHM and its member companies participate in a range of initiatives in partnership with several institutions, including with the International Labor Organization (ILO), promoting equality, non – discrimination and women empowerment. Among them:
- «Public Commitment to End Violence against Women and Girls» AHM, along with other organizations, joins the initiative organized by the office of the United Nations Resident Coordinator in Honduras and commits to develop activities and programs that contribute to this fight. AHM’s Technical Director of Services and Administration, Ms. Martha Benavides, one of the initiative’s Ambassadors underscored the Association’s institutional commitment
- – »As the Honduran Association of Maquiladoras we commit to carry out training activities in the next three months on the management of harassment and violence, specifically on the issues of psychological harassment, sexual harassment, domestic violence and management of harassment and violence in the place of work, with the understanding that these programs will continue to be provided to AHM member companies on a continuous and permanent basis.
- Likewise, we are aware that the increase in domestic violence is nationwide and affects, among others, women who work in the textile-maquiladora sector, impacting on a personal level their self-esteem and quality of life, so we will continue to promote our campaign against domestic violence called: IN THE FACE OF VIOLENCE, DON’T STAY SILENT, SPEAK UP !, through our social networks and on our website ».
- «Human resources management guide with a gender perspective». The workshop was coordinated by the International Labor Organization (ILO), the Chamber of Commerce and Industries of Tegucigalpa (CCIT), the Honduran Council of Private Enterprise (Cohep) and the Honduran Association of Maquiladoras (AHM). The exposed guide seeks to promote free enterprise and provide knowledge on gender equality in the processes of human talent management.
- Cooperation Agreement AHM – Ciudad Mujer promotes the comprehensive development of women, their financial autonomy and their full development as a human being and also protect them by making them aware of their rights as a person, providing information and expanding their knowledge to reduce discrimination and violence. Through the cooperation agreement AHM and Ciudad Mujer seek to reach all women who require training or empowerment including all workers in the textile-maquiladora sector and, at no cost, provide learning and training in all aspects that will help them reach their maximum potential.
AHM member company initiatives in upcoming installment.
AHM Partnerships for Health
AHM has a broad range of structured support and services related to health and occupational safety including which can be explored in the following link: https://www.ahm-honduras.com/?page_id=1910
A sampler of AHM’s structured facilitation of support and services to its member-companies:
Sistema Médico de Empresa-SME (Company Medical System): AHM partnership with the Instituto Hondureño de Seguridad Social-IHSS (Honduran Social Security Institute)
Public or private companies in their capacity as employers can voluntarily subscribe to the IHSS Company Medical System which consists of “in – company” primary care medical services This system was established and has been successfully implemented since 1990.
AHM member companies, including industrial parks which house several operations within their perimeters, have their clinics certified with the IHSS’s Company Medical System. This is of great benefit to the employees, since they have immediate primary care attention within their workplace, without having to commute to a health clinic.
Occupational Health Care Back Schools – AHM partnership with the Instituto Hondureño de Seguridad Social-IHSS (Instituto Hondureño de Seguridad Social)
Back schools are educational and training programs with lessons given to patients or workers by a therapist with the aim of treating or preventing low back pain.
This in-company program is implemented within working hours by trained and certified instructors with lessons and therapies given to patients or workers aimed at caring, preventing and treating the cervical and lumbar spine. Through exercise and knowledge sharing sessions it aims to teach workers to care for their back, correct postures, modify potentially harmful behaviors and, in general, increase their functional capacity.
This program is the first of a series of preventive programs with the Honduran Institute of Social Security (IHSS) Rehabilitation Center. The AHM-IHSS agreement aims to reduce the incidences of musculoskeletal injuries by establishing the program within the companies.
AHM facilitates and provides technical assistance for the implementation of the “in-company” IHSS Occupational Health Care Back School Program.
The Back School consists of 10 daily 45-min. sessions of exercises.
Unidad Comunitaria de Rehabilitación UNICORE SAN JOSE | Community Rehab Unit
ELCATEX, an AHM-member company, in partnership with the Teletón Foundation*, established the first Unidad Comunitaria de Rehabilitación to benefit thousands of maquila workers. The UNICORE opened its doors in Zip Choloma industrial park in November 2020.
Its initial aspiration to provide care for 500 patients per year has been surpassed: 619 workers have received care with the physiatrist and 3,741 physical therapies have been carried out by physiotherapists, providing care for 4,360 patients in its first 8 months of operations.
Fundación Teletón provides free medical, therapeutic, psychological, social and educational support services. The Teletón Comprehensive Rehabilitation Centers are based on a community services model to facilitate broader access to rehabilitation care. The UNICOREs bring rehab closer to communities. AHM companies contribute generously every year to the Annual Teletón Foundation Fundraising drive. http://teleton.org.hn/
Health Fairs – Bringing healthcare to our communities
Health fairs have become common practice in the industry – most AHM member companies regularly hold them in their premises or in the communities where their workers reside.
These educational and interactive events are designed for outreach to provide basic preventive medicine, medical screening or ambulatory health care services to people in the community or employees at work in conjunction with workplace wellness.
Impressive results, like Fruit of the Loom’s total 100,000 consultations in the 2010-2020 period translate into better quality of life for
In October 2020, HBI announced its Mobile Clinics that will provide health care to its employees; and once the opening of the economy allows it, they will be used to carry out medical brigades to different communities of Villanueva and Choloma.
In the first year of operation, it estimates will provide 5,000 consultations to company employees in the areas of general medicine, gynecology and internal medicine.
HBI Inc we have made a significant investment in these clinics that will serve to take care of the health of our associates, as well as their families and communities near our plants» we have made significant investments in the purchase of biosafety equipment, tests, medicines, because at Hanes health comes first «.
Talent and Entrepreneurship Development
Talent development refers to the efforts to build upon employees’ existing skills while identifying new skills and opportunities to help achieve organizational goals. It ensures that an organization remains competitive in the ever-changing global market.
Through its PROCINCO program, AHM develops, facilitates and provides tailored made “in company” talent development solutions for its member-companies.
PROCINCO, the Integral Training Program for Competitiveness was born in 2001, with the resources of the of the Inter-American Development Bank’s Multilateral Investment Fund. In 2004 it was institutionalized as a permanent Training Program of the Honduran Association of Maquiladoras, as a benefit for all its member companies.
This program has 3 primary objectives that contribute to:
- Support the competitiveness of member companies through the implementation of practices related to the production, quality, maintenance and other processes.
- To improve the working conditions of member companies, specifically in the area of occupational health and safety.
- Contribute to the strengthening of relations between employees and employers through programs that lead to better job performance in the company.
The PROCINCO Training Program has had a significant impact not only with the direct beneficiaries but also in the communities where the companies operate and where their workers live.
AHM member company initiatives in upcoming installment.
As a result of an agreement facilitated and negotiated in the Bipartite Commission the community childcare became part of the broader framework. AHM’s commitment including the developing of a pilot program for community child care in order to determine the appropriate establishment of the community childcare centers according to the law and varying circumstances within communities.
More on the initiative can be found in this link: https://www.ahm-honduras.com/?page_id=3940
AHM member company initiatives in upcoming installment.
AHM partnerships for workers’ home ownership – Accessible Housing
Thinking about the well-being of the workers and their families, this day the Honduran Association of Maquiladoras delivered the first 80 premiums with a value of 15,000 lempiras each, to workers in the textile-maquiladora sector, thus fulfilling the commitment acquired in December of 2018 during the salary agreement in which the donation of a thousand premiums for the purchase of a home was agreed.
This Social Housing program that was approved 3 years ago by the AHM and the Bipartite Commission made up of workers from the maquila union network with the support of the Government, through CONVIVIENDA, have worked as a team to promote this innovative program that has allowed 882 workers in the sector to live in their dream home to date. Additionally, the AHM has delivered L5,204,713.87 in closing costs for the benefited families.
The Government of the Republic, through the CONVIVIENDA program, will continue to make available to workers in the textile-maquiladora sector a subsidy according to the income of the beneficiaries. In this sense, starting this year, the construction of vertical and non-vertical social housing projects will be sought in some municipalities.
The regulations for the selection processes of these premiums will be carried out by the Bipartite Commission, represented by the maquila union network, which will establish the form and time in which said premiums will be distributed. Likewise, employers may have the opportunity to be developers of housing projects, deducting the value of the monthly fee from the payroll, with the prior authorization of the beneficiary worker.
Additionally, it has contributed to the reduction of the housing deficit in the country and new businesses have been generated in the areas where the housing projects are located, creating established communities with all basic services and with safer environments for each of its inhabitants. , achieving to date that more than 3,000 families have a decent home.
For this program to be successful, the support of banking institutions that have said «yes» in supporting the social housing program has been essential, opening their doors so that workers in the textile-maquiladora sector can qualify for financing, checking with much satisfaction that the debtors of the maquiladora sector comply with their banking obligations. Among the banks that have supported this program are: Banco de Occidente, Davivienda, COFISA, BANRURAL, Banco FICOHSA.
The facilities and benefits have been expanded so that workers can obtain their homes in decent housing areas, so that employees of the textile-maquila sector have a golden opportunity to obtain their homes. The mission of the Honduran Association of Maquiladoras is to bring the message and the benefits to each of the Industry’s collaborators, with the purpose that they obtain their home today, through an agreement between the Government, the AHM and the Network of Maquila Unions, represented in the Bipartite Commission.
Mario Canahuati, president of the AHM, expressed his satisfaction that the sector he represents demonstrates with facts its support for the workers, who now have great possibilities to aspire to a home of their own.
On behalf of the workers, Ms. Evangelina Argueta encouraged the working-class sector, especially in the maquila, to take advantage of the benefits that have been achieved for the acquisition of accessible housing.