The Freedom of Association Protocol: A Localised Non-Judicial Grievance Mechanism for Workers' Rights in Global Supply Chains
Non-Judicial Redress Mechanisms Report Series No. 19
53 Pages Posted: 23 Dec 2016 Last revised: 15 Jul 2019
Date Written: October 24, 2016
This report examines the contribution of a non-judicial mechanism designed to encourage respect for freedom of association within Indonesia’s export-oriented apparel and footwear sector. The Freedom of Association Protocol (the ‘Protocol’) is a multi-party agreement created by Indonesian unions, factory owners (‘suppliers’) and global brand-owning companies (‘brands’), including Nike, Adidas, Puma and New Balance. In Indonesia freedom of association is protected by legislation and union busting constitutes a criminal offence; however, implementation of these laws is weak and routine violations continue to occur. The Protocol establishes specific standards for freedom of association in participating factories, as well as grievance resolution procedures for violations of those standards. It currently applies to approximately 300,000 factory workers employed in industrial districts throughout Java, most of whom are young women. It was developed in the context of a long-running global campaign by trade unions and labour rights organisations to persuade sportswear brands to uphold workers’ rights in their supply chains.
Keywords: Corporate Social Responsibility, Trade Unions, Indonesia, Labour Rights, Labor Rights, Sweatshops, Workers, Nike, Reebok, Adidas, New Balance, Puma, Pentland
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