Ethical Trade Norway and Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI UK)

Workshop: Developing and enabling worker representation in the supply chain

icon calendar 25.08.20 icon separator 25.08.2020 icon clock09.00 icon separator 15.30 icon calendarEtisk Handel Norge, Hausmannsgate 19, Oslo
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Freedom of association and the right to organize is a foundation for workers to present and discuss common challenges and concerns with employers. This is central to raising work standards and to improving workplace practices related to e.g. discrimination, wages and other issues. Hence, focus on worker representation could be an important mean to prevent and reduce risks related to several of the topics in your company’s supplier code of conduct. Freedom of Association (FOA) and collective bargaining (CB) are significantly less focused on than other fundamental rights, even though they are the subject of greater active resistance. Responsible businesses therefore recognize the absence of independent unions as an important risk factor.

Independently elected worker representatives are the measure of how freely workers can express their needs and contribute to their industry or workplace through formal dialogue or consultation with managers. Worker representation is the outcome of a journey that starts with workers being able to freely associate in the workplace, entering dialogue with employers about what is important to them and then electing workers to representing the collective needs in formal arrangements between management and workers.

Target group:

The pilot training is suitable for any private or public businesses that want to learn more about how to take practical steps towards worker representation in the supply chain and on site. The training is particular suitable for those who are responsible for ethical trade and sustainability within the company. It is also suitable for worker representatives at your work place.

Content and outcome:

Through supporting and progressing worker representation the purpose of this training is how to strategically mature supply chain industrial relations for better working conditions. It is mostly focused on directly contact with producing suppliers, but measures can be adopted to managing intermediaries (such as agent f.eks.).

Based on the trade union model of elected representatives we aim to explore:

  • Lack of freedom of Association and worker representation as a salient risk, causing severe negative impact on people, society and the environment.
  • What is worker representation and the part they play in reducing risk at site level
  • Progressing worker representation, through communication strategies

Expected outcomes is:

  1. An understanding of the due diligence approach to freedom of association, collective bargaining and worker representation at national and site level.
  2. Identify entry points to map a strategic pathway to promote, support and invest in the development of independently elected worker representatives.
  3. Equip companies to gather internal evidence to support the case for worker representation in early dispute resolution, audit participation and engagement with suppliers and producers.

After this pilot-training we are aiming at facilitating shorter practical workshops on specific topics related to worker representation. Topics for workshops would be based on input from members Topics could be female worker representation, worker representation in audits, worker representation in China etc.

Preparation and implementation:

The training will focus on facilitated discussions with reference to a practical guidance on worker representation developed by ETI.

Kursavgift og vilkår for påmelding:

Etisk Handel Norges medlemmer: gratis

Avgiften inkluderer kursmateriell og enkel severing. Eventuell overnatting må bestilles og betales av hver enkelt deltaker. Påmeldingen er bindende. Etisk Handel Norge tar forbehold om at arrangementet kan avlyses ved få påmeldte, i så fall gis beskjed senest 10 dager før. Ved avmelding 9 dager eller mindre før kursdato må 25% av kursavgiften betales. Ved avmelding 5 virkedager eller mindre før (første) kursdagen, eller ved no-show, må hele kursavgiften betales.


Beverly Hall

Beverly Hall


Beverley Hall is Senior Industrial Relations Advisor at Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI). Before joining ETI she spent 16 years with the UKs professional and engineering trade union developing policy and frameworks for worker engagement in company CSR, procurement and climate change plans. Bev led the union’s international, European and climate change work. Working with, companies, government, EU/International trade union bodies, industry associations, standards bodies and development agencies, experience has been gained in labour rights covering many geographical areas including Latin America, North & East Africa, India, Bangladesh, Turkey and China.