Freedom of Association

Throughout the global garment export industry, the fundamental human right of workers to freedom of association (FOA) and collective bargaining is routinely violated by employers and severely restricted or prohibited by law.

MSN supports workers’ efforts to join or form unions of their free choice and to bargain collectively for improved wages and working conditions and greater respect for their rights.

We work with local trade union, women’s and labour rights organizations on specific cases in which workers are threatened, discriminated against or fired for attempting to organize or bargain collectively, and we support their efforts to achieve greater legal protections for workers’ associational rights.

MSN also engages with and pressures international apparel and footwear companies concerning their policies and practices to ensure greater respect for freedom of association and the right to bargain collectively in their global supply chains, and on specific cases of FOA violations in supplier factories.

Institutional barriers to freedom of association in Mexico are a major focus of MSN’s work. We collaborate with independent unions and labour rights advocates and experts who promote institutional reforms to Mexico’s labour justice system, and with international apparel brands on efforts to improve respect for freedom of association in their Mexican supplier factories.

MSN also works with trade union, women’s and labour rights organizations in Central America on cases of freedom of association violations and participates in international campaigns against anti-union repression in countries like Bangladesh and Cambodia.



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