US embassy cable - 02AMMAN2624

NOMINATION FOR AWARD FOR CORPORATE EXCELLENCE

Identifier: 02AMMAN2624
Wikileaks: View 02AMMAN2624 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Amman
Created: 2002-05-23 05:58:00
Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Tags: BEXP EINV ELAB ETRD JO
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS AMMAN 002624 
 
SIPDIS 
 
FOR EB/CBA NSMITH-NISSLEY 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: BEXP, EINV, ELAB, ETRD, JO 
SUBJECT: NOMINATION FOR AWARD FOR CORPORATE EXCELLENCE 
 
REF: STATE 73362 
 
CCKM Apparel Manufacturing (Jordan) LTD. has been a leader in 
promoting worker rights and workplace standards in Jordan's 
fastest-growing industrial sector during a difficult time in 
the Middle East.  CCKM Jordan's good corporate citizenship 
has drawn praise from factory workers, industrial park 
managers, and U.S. retailers as a model for responsible 
investment in a sector that is heavily impacted by labor 
rights issues.  Recognizing CCKM's leadership with the award 
for corporate excellence will help expand their example of 
good corporate citizenship throughout Jordan's economy, and 
will highlight the potential for Arab-Israeli economic 
cooperation. 
 
CCKM Apparel Manufacturing (Jordan) LTD. is a wholly-owned 
subsidiary of New York-based Cannon County Knitting Mills 
(CCKM).  CCKM first invested in Jordan in 2001, bringing $2.5 
million dollars and over 350 new jobs into the local economy. 
 CCKM's decision to invest in Jordan represents in part a 
desire by owner Marty Granoff to make a concrete contribution 
to peace in the region by strengthening economic ties between 
Jordan and Israel through the Qualifying Industrial Zones 
(QIZ) initiative.  The initiative, which gives tariff breaks 
to companies that export goods with Jordanian and Israeli 
content to the U.S., has produced an explosion of growth in 
Jordan's garment manufacturing sector, creating thousands of 
new jobs directly and tens of thousands indirectly.  In the 
process, it has created a constituency for peace in Jordanian 
communities benefiting from new employment opportunities. 
CCKM Jordan has taken the lead in ensuring that the 
initiative develops in a sustainable and responsible fashion. 
 
CCKM leads first and foremost by example, with a strong 
commitment to workplace safety.  Along with Jordanian Labor 
Ministry officials, compliance inspectors from major U.S. 
retailers keep a close eye on conditions in QIZ factories. 
No factory has a better track record than CCKM.  In fact, the 
manager of the industrial park in which CCKM is located often 
uses this factory as its showcase for prospective investors 
and buyers' agents.  This commitment to workplace safety is 
matched by CCKM's commitment to its workers individually. 
CCKM has instituted a nutritional supplement program for its 
workers that provides them with morning energy drinks and 
subsidizes 90% of their lunch bills to ensure good worker 
health.  CCKM also has a staunch commitment to training:  the 
company wrote off its first year of production, instead 
devoting 100% of its time - and its salary budget - to 
training programs that lasted up to six months per worker. 
 
CCKM has also embraced the local community as it has 
developed its workforce.  CCKM holds regular graduation 
ceremonies for workers who complete training programs, along 
with factory tours for family members.  These celebrations 
have an enormous impact in traditional societies that are 
suspicious of allowing women into the workplace.  By 
including families into the training process, CCKM has 
dispelled fathers' misgivings about sending their daughters 
into factory work, and has replaced those misgivings with 
pride in seeing their daughters finish training courses that 
give them marketable skills (for some, the only formal 
education they've received).  It has also given the community 
a stake in the success of the business.  Finally, CCKM is 
training an all-Jordanian workforce.  In an industry that 
relies heavily on expatriate labor (expats make up 25-33% of 
total sector employment), CCKM has pledged to the government 
and the community that the jobs it creates will be for 
Jordanians.  The effectiveness of CCKM's approach is 
measurable:  while they pay less than the average QIZ 
factory, they still have stacks of applications from new 
workers and prospective transferees from other plants, all of 
whom want to work in the family environment CCKM has created. 
 
CCKM makes other fine contributions to the community - be it 
educating the Jordanian government on the importance of 
worker rights issues, or lobbying the Israeli government to 
expand the benefits of the QIZ initiative into higher 
value-added product lines in order to create more jobs and 
further solidify bilateral commercial ties.  But it is the 
demonstrated commitment to the well-being of its workers that 
makes CCKM the standard-bearer for responsible investment in 
Jordan, and that is what makes CCKM a deserving recipient of 
the award for corporate excellence. 
Gnehm 

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