Industry Execs Target Construction Materials Sector on Labor Abuses

Atricle by  Engineering News-Record's Editor-at-Large for Management, Business and Workforce, Debra K. Rubin 

Contending that forced labor and "modern-day slavery" remain a lingering problem in global manufacture of construction materials despite international bans, a Connecticut advocacy group is funding a new effort by top design and construction industry executives to use collective purchase power and big data to end abusive practices.

Grace Farms Foundation, the New Canaan-based non-profit, said on Sept. 4 it has launched the GFF Architecture + Construction Working Group, led by more than 50 industry leaders, that aims to push more scrutiny of the materials supply chain in construction, develop a list of “slave-free” project specifications and metrics and provide criteria for responsible sourcing. 

A foundation spokeswoman says it is "actively pursuing" efforts to add anti-slavery or exploitation-free requirements for materials to construction specifications, procurement documents and contracts."

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