Several of our recent blog posts have focused on the factors associated with choosing a sourcing region or partner. Heading the list were cost and quality, but social compliance also ranks near the top. When offshoring textile manufacturing, many concerned American companies now include human rights, social responsibility and work ethics considerations in right along with labor costs.
Watching workplace conditions makes solid business, ethical and moral sense for the company and its workforce. In one recent example of safety issues being horribly overlooked, The New York Times reported that over 300 workers were killed in fires at two Pakistani factories. This human tragedy should serve as an eye opener for those companies which choose to manufacture in lower cost countries without looking into the factories’ social and human rights responsibilities.
Mexican Manufacturers Have Strong Safety Measures
In contrast to some of these countries which focus solely on low labor costs, Mexican manufacturers perform under strict labor and environmental laws to protect their workers. In fact, Mexico’s labor and environmental laws require that manufacturing companies provide a safe environment.
MFI International, a contract manufacturer of diverse textile assemblies, has its own labor law contract with its workforce. Chapter Six of this contract contains a requirement that all workers wear safety equipment including masks and safety glasses and that all other required safety measures be fully implemented, depending on the operation and equipment used. The policy also requires employees to report any malfunctions in electrical equipment that could lead to an accident on the production floor; the company also enforces emergency and fire procedures as part of their safety requirements.
Workplace safety conditions should always be a top priority in any production decision. Mexico’s Near-shore manufacturing allows for greater control and oversight of safety procedures while still meeting cost and quality requirements.