Discussion Paper 41: Worker Voice and Labor Standards – Study of Participation Committees in Supply Chains

30 Jun 2021

Empirical work on the efficacy of transnational regulatory initiatives provide limited evidence on the impact of voice. Meanwhile, industrial relations theory argues that worker voice matters by creating a mechanism to address working conditions. In this paper, these two scholarships are brought together in studying worker-management participation committees established as part of International Labor Organization’s Better Work Program in Jordan, Vietnam and Indonesia. The association between the committees and outcomes on factory violations is examined by breaking down the functional features of committee selection. Findings show that union representation and fair elections matter for aggregate violation index while gender representation and management support are relevant for specific violation subsets. These findings confirm prior literature, in particular those which emphasize the role of unions in supplementing mandated committees.


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