New reports published on Social Dialogue in the 21st Century

We are delighted to announce the publication of a series of reports as part of Social Dialogue in the 21st Century, a collaborative project between Cornell Industrial and Labor Relations School’s New Conversations Project and the Strategic Partnership for Garment Supply Chain Transformation (SP), which includes Fair Wear Foundation, CNV Internationaal and Mondiaal FNV.

The Social Dialogue in the 21st Century Project focuses on what social dialogue should look like moving forward. Social dialogue has the potential to deliver better working conditions, social stability and a level playing field in the garment industry and beyond. However, the social dialogue systems and strategies developed in the 20th century were never designed to cope with the complexities of globalisation. Freedom of association and collective bargaining rights remain fundamental, but it is time to rethink how social dialogue should function in a global economy. Through research and stakeholder consultations in ten garment-producing countries, the project aimed to create a root-cause analysis of barriers to impactful social dialogue, analyse similarities and differences between countries and arrive at conclusions for how to overcome barriers and move forward across the entire global garment industry. The research was also expanded to include an analysis of how COVID-19 has impacted social dialogue structures, and examine how social dialogue contributed to the recovery efforts.

Today all ten country-specific reports have been published, along with an in-depth comparative Synthesis Report highlighting key findings and ways forward. In the reports, the interests and roles of the current complex network of actors are mapped out.

Social Dialogue in the 21st Century focuses on ten sourcing countries: Bangladesh, Bulgaria, Ethiopia, India, Myanmar, Cambodia, Indonesia, Mexico, Honduras, and Vietnam.

The research presents important findings concerning political typology as well as a number of obstacles to productive social dialogue. You can find the full reports below:

Last week the first reports were launched during the OECD Forum on Due Diligence in Garment in Footwear during the session titled ‘Is Social Dialogue part of Fashion’s post-Covid Cure?’ The recording can be found here.

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