Freedom of Association

Freedom of Association

Our COVC explicitly supports freedom of association and the rights of workers to lawfully and peacefully associate, organize and bargain collectively. 

We feel strongly that the people who make our clothes have a right to advocate for their rights and well-being. Many garment workers have limited experience working at facilities or exercising these rights, and they often have few other options for earning a steady income to support themselves and their families. 

These rights can help workers find a common voice and provide them with a framework for engaging with management on fair wages, sufficient benefits and the right to do their work in fair and decent conditions. 

The limited rule of law in many developing countries provides fewer protections for workers’ rights, which is why freedom of association can be such an important enabler in certain countries. 

We understand that workers’ opportunities to voice their concerns often depends on other factors, including good relations with management and the support of other workers or a trusted intermediary. We support the rights of workers and employees to freedom of association and collective bargaining through our Human Rights Policy and Code of Vendor Conduct.

We use a wide range of approaches in seeking to ensure that the rights of freedom of association are respected, from supporting open dialogue between facility workers and managers, to partnering with workers’ rights groups and trade unions when appropriate.