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

Arvind Lifestyle Apparel Manufacturing

Arvind Lifestyle Apparel Manufacturing Plc., located in the Bole Lemi Industrial Park, is one of two textile and apparel factories in Ethiopia owned by the Indian multinational Arvind Lifestyle Apparel. The facility’s buyers include The Children’s Place, PVH, H&M, and Gerber Children’s Wear. The plant primarily manufactures jeans, trousers, and shirts. (A second Arvind facility…

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KT Embroidery

In May 2018, the WRC launched an investigation into reports of illegal termination of workers from KT Embroidery, which embellished university logo caps, on a subcontract basis, for Zephyr Graf-X.The case involved: the illegal dismissal of more than a dozen workers who sought improvements in the factory’s labor practices; and, the imposition of a blatantly…

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Textiles Opico

The WRC investigated a complaint filed by workers at Textiles Opico and found that the factory had violated university codes of conduct and other applicable standards with regard to workers’ freedom of association during a layoff of factory workers in January 2017.

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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.

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Genesis Apparel

In 2015, the WRC undertook a comprehensive investigation of labor practices at Genesis Apparel, which included offsite interviews with employees and an onsite inspection that was conducted in June 2015. The WRC’s assessment identified a number of violations of Honduran law and university codes of conduct, including noncompliance in the areas of wages and hours…

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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.

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Jerzees Buena Vista

In October 2015, Fruit of the Loom announced to workers that it would be closing Jerzees Buena Vista and consolidating its operation and workforce into a second facility owned by the company, Manufacturas Villanueva. The company negotiated with the union the terms of the consolidation and, in early 2016, workers at Jerzees Buena Vista terminated their employment with the factory and, if they so desired, were hired at Manufacturas Villanueva.

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