Currently millions of workers around the world work without knowing their rights and therefore without exercising them. Although the majority of the population is part of the labour market at some point in their lives, few countries include content on labour rights and obligations within their curricula.
Trade unions and some NGOs often provide training on wages, discrimination, freedom of association, working hours, etc. but only when their budgets allow it. In many countries, the scarcity of resources, the lack of strong union structures, the lack of inspection campaigns and awareness rising on labour rights, makes it difficult for workers to access basic information about the rights that the law recognizes.
Internationally, more and more companies are taking an active role in encouraging their workers to learn their rights because they recognize the benefits of having an informed and educated workforce. These companies do not limit the training to their own employees but are also extending it to workers in factories in their supply chains abroad. Some companies are starting require their suppliers to train their workers on those labour rights included in their codes of conduct and domestic laws. With this requirement companies are trying to empower workers and reduce the risk of factory non-compliances.
Suppliers are beginning to be aware that when workers feel that their rights are being respected, turnover rates are reduced and their commitment to the company increases. Many suppliers providers do not find effective and efficient ways to convey this knowledge to your workforce. The reason? large number workforce, high turnover, inadequate choice of teaching methods, many migrant workers who do not know the language, lack of interest on the part of workers, prioritization of other training issues, etc..
If we want workers to exercise their rights, the first step is to ensure they actually know them. By training workers, creating two-way communication channels and installing efficient mechanisms for resolving conflicts is easier to avoid non-compliances of labour laws and abuses.
To support these suppliers, we launch sharingworklife as an open space of our website. This way, companies can easily find specific actions so workers know and understand their labour rights.
sharingworklife aims to become the space of reference where suppliers can find simple ideas that can be implemented immediately and where they can share their experiences on the implementation such actions with other companies around the world.
Actually the explanation for setting up sharingworklife is quite simple: we have been working in this field 15 years. Nobody has created a similar tool. And it is absolutely necessary.