Levi Strauss, 1991 Terms of Engagement (Chinese)


Levi Strauss & Co. pioneered supplier workplace codes of conduct with its Terms of Engagement in 1991. This pamphlet was published in Chinese. Levi’s commitment to workplace responsibility was tested in 1992 when a news report revealed that a supplier in Saipan was abusing its workforce. Mostly immigrants, the workers were working as much as 11 hours a day, seven days a week, for as little as $1.65 an hour with no overtime pay (the minimum wage in Saipan was $2.15 an hour). The story was especially embarrassing because the Northern Mariana Islands, a protectorate of the U.S., was allowed to label the goods Made in the USA. Levi’s canceled their contract. In the late 1990s the practice of workplace codes of conduct became relatively common in the garment industry.

The trend towards offshore production provided the opportunity for large cost savings but at the same time presented new problems of control. Manufacturers and retailers who worried about poor conditions in subcontractors’ factories issued codes of conduct. Enforcement of the codes of conduct was uneven.

Location: Currently not on view

See more items in: Work and Industry: Mechanical and Civil Engineering, Work, American Enterprise


Exhibition Location:

Credit Line: Levi Strauss and Company

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: 1998.3024.03Catalog Number: 1998.3024.03Nonaccession Number: 1998.3024

Object Name: brochure

Measurements: overall: 8 3/8 in x 5 1/2 in; 21.2725 cm x 13.97 cm

Guid: http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ng49ca746a8-d1eb-704b-e053-15f76fa0b4fa

Record Id: nmah_1020899

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