Marking the sixth anniversary of the Ali Enterprises fire in 2012, on 11 September 2018 the Ali Enterprises Factory Fire Affectees Association (AEFFAA) and several unions and NGOs filed a specific instance at the Italian NCP. The complaint is against RINA Services S.p.A., an auditing company accredited to carry out SA8000 certification by Social Accountability Accreditation Services.
The complaint alleges that RINA wrongfully awarded the SA 8000 certification to the Ali Enterprises factory before it burned down. The complainant alleges that RINA should have identified child labour, forced overtime, and deficient fire systems at the factory, and that RINA failed to use its leverage to request remedial actions before awarding the certification of SA 8000. The complainants argue these actions and omissions represent a breach of the OECD Guidelines. The complainants seek mediation from the Italian NCP to encourage RINA to make its auditing practices more transparent and accountable and to ensure tangible remedy for the victims.
Relevant OECD Guidelines
- Chapter II
- Chapter II Paragraph A10
- Chapter II Paragraph A11
- Chapter II Paragraph A12
- Chapter IV
- Chapter IV Paragraph 1
- Chapter IV Paragraph 2
- Chapter V
- Chapter V Paragraph 1 c
- Preface Paragraph 1
- Preface Paragraph 9
On 8 April 2019, the Italian NCP issued an initial assessment accepting the complaint for further consideration. The NCP offered its good offices through mediation led by an external conciliator, which both parties accepted.
The Italian Ministry of Economic Development hosted two conciliation meetings June and September 2019. The parties developed a Terms of Settlement, but while the complainants agreed to sign it, the company refused to, and no agreement was reached.
On 11 December 2020, the Italian NCP published its final statement, recommending that the company
— make a humanitarian gesture in favour of the families of the victims – without any implication in terms of liability – and express their sympathy for the tragic event;
— carry out effective and targeted risk-based due diligence when operating in countries and sectors at risk;
— implement and enhance the commitment to improve the certification mechanism, in particular in the textile sector and high-risk countries.
The NCP also recommended that the parties continue their dialogue and cooperate to implement the recommendations.
The NCP invited the parties to report on the steps taken to implement the recommendations one year after the publication of the final statement.
On 3 August 2022, the Italian NCP published its follow-up report. Among other things, the company had not made any ‘humanitarian gesture’ to the families of the victims (but had donated money to a school in Lahore) and did not express any apology to the victims of the fire and their families as it considered that it had not materially participated in or caused the accident. The company also reported that it had adopted and implemented an updated corporate enterprise risk management approach and third-party due diligence processes.
- Affected people
- Date rejected / concluded
- 11 December 2020