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

Primo S.A. de C.V.

The present Report focuses exclusively on the most urgent issue at Primo: the allegation that Primo has systematically discriminated in its hiring process against workers perceived to be trade unionists (a practice known as “blacklisting”). It is important to note that this allegation concerns not just Primo, but factories throughout the San Bartolo free trade zone.


PT Kolon Langgeng

In November 2002, the WRC received a complaint from workers at PT Kolon Langgeng, including allegations that, if valid, would constitute violations of Indonesian law and of college and university codes of conduct primarily in the realm of wages and benefits, forced and uncompensated overtime, and occupational health and safety.


Tarrant Ajalpan

The WRC investigation found that Tarrant Ajalpan has illegally fired all of the leaders of a lawfully constituted worker movement, which was established to promote better working conditions at the facility and to organize an independent union. Tarrant Ajalpan has further illegally fired at least 150 other workers in a further attempt to prevent factory employees from exercising their associational rights.


PT Dada

Violations found include punishing sick leave, danger of severe heat stress, requiring homework, and freedom of association violations.


New Era Cap Company

The complaint alleged that New Era failed to comply with WRC and university Codes of Conduct, and with applicable labor and employment laws, in three general areas: health and safety, age and disability discrimination, and freedom of association and collective bargaining.