Right to Organize and Bargain

Photograph of workers protestingA worker’s right to organize and bargain collectively is protected in international covenants, from the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights to ILO conventions, and is protected by national laws in most countries. Yet workers around the world still routinely face threats, dismissal from their jobs, and even outright violence when they seek to join or form a union.

The presence of an independent union in a workplace can help enable workers to identify and raise concerns regarding health and safety hazards, wage-and-hour violations, or provision of health and retirement benefits. When employers are allowed retaliate against workers who speak out, this deters workers from pressing their employers to correct other violations, or from speaking openly to labor rights monitors such as the WRC about conditions in their workplaces.

Together with our allies, the WRC has helped more than 1,500 workers win reinstatement after they were illegally fired and, in some cases, violently attacked for exercising right to organize and bargain collectively.

Related Factory Investigations

Konffetty S.A. de C.V.

The WRC uncovered extensive wage theft and related violations of university labor codes at Konffetty S.A. de C.V., a garment producer in El Salvador that is the sole disclosed supplier to university licensee Vive La Fete.


Delta Apparel Honduras

The WRC investigated a complaint filed by workers at Delta Apparel Honduras (DAH), and found that the practices of DAH violated Honduran law and university codes of conduct in the areas of wages and hours of work, legally mandated benefits, health care, harassment and abuse, gender discrimination, freedom of association, and occupational health and safety.


Shahi Exports Pvt. Ltd.

An investigation by the WRC found that the management of Shahi Exports Pvt. Ltd.’s (Shahi) Unit 8 factory (Bangalore, India) carried out a campaign of vicious repression and retaliation against workers’ exercise of fundamental labor rights.


Horizon Outdoor

As detailed in this new report, the WRC, working in collaboration with VF, successfully reversed an attempt by Horizon Outdoor management to retaliatorily discharge more than 50 of the facility’s employees.


Hansae Vietnam

The Hansae Vietnam factory has been the subject of in-depth investigation and reporting concerning labor rights issues and engagement with Nike and Hansae on their remediation, by both the WRC and the FLA, for the past two years.


Manufacturas Villanueva

During this closure, workers’ voices were heard and their rights were respected. Russell/FOTL and the Honduran unions negotiated a resolution that ensured that workers were transferred on fair terms, including benefits above those required by law, and that these terms were clearly communicated to workers. This is a tribute to the framework established by the 2009 agreement and the relationship formed over the past seven years of negotiations.


Style Avenue S.A.

Style Avenue was found to have multiple and repeated labor rights violations, including forced overtime, illegal terminations, verbal abuse by management, failure to respect freedom of association, locking workers in the factory, excessive heat, and unsanitary conditions.


Impression Apparel

In February 2015, the WRC received a complaint from the Federacion Sindical de El Salvador (FESS) stating that, in January 2015, a Salvadoran garment factory known as Impression Apparel illegally fired three union leaders, all of whom were protected under Salvadoran law from dismissal without prior government authorization.



The WRC’s initial investigation at Petralex documented systematic labor rights violations, including retaliatory firings of union leaders, who were protected from dismissal by Honduran law, as well as the firing of other workers who were supporters of the union or family members of union leaders.


Thai Garment Export 5

Read more: WRC Assessment Thai Garment Export 5 (Thailand) – April 3, 2015