Good Practice

Promoting the Right to Freedom of Association and the Right to Collective Bargaining ? Outcome 14 - Final Evaluation

Good Practice Description

Since 2008, Jordan has hosted an ILO/International Finance Corporation Better Work Programme in its garment sector. In 2013, it contributed to a 'breakthrough' when the first sector wide collective bargaining agreement was signed between two apparel employers' associations and Jordan's garment union.

In Sri Lanka, the project featured training for both Human Resource managers and workers on sexual harassment. The integration of the issue in the project's activities in Sri Lanka, which were focused on promoting increased respect for the right of freedom of association, was very relevant and is a good practice that might be replicated elsewhere. One of the main Sri Lankan trade unions working in the garment sector, in collaboration with this project, introduced workshops to help garment workers to deal with sexual harassment. The trade union found that, in addition to helping women to address an issue that was affecting their working lives negatively, the workshops were an excellent means to attract women to trade unions. The workshops created opportunities for trade union organizers to meet with workers and explain the advantages of membership. In Sri Lanka, the same trade union also provided free medical clinics to workers with project support, another practice they found effective to meet the needs of workers and boost their membership.

A social impact assessment, which was co-financed by this and another project, was carried out to assess the effects of the Zambian mining industry on workers' rights and sustainable business practices. It addressed the spheres of compliance with international and national labour standards, protection of workers' rights (including freedom of association, collective bargaining and occupational safety and health [OSH]) and the effective exercise of social dialogue. The assessment documented a number of negative impacts of some prevalent business practices in the mining industry in Zambia. These included significant differences in salary and other benefits for employees doing the same or similar work depending on whether they worked for the principal enterprise or a sub-contractor, poor standards of occupational safety and health in some mines, and unequal pay for equal work favouring expatriate workers. The study highlighted two distinct business models that are commonly practiced in the sector in Zambia and how the problems that were identified link with these models. The study also discussed issues affecting the efficacy of labour inspection and the trade union movement in the mining sector.