Play Fair – a campaign for decent sportswear

REPORT | 25 November 2013
Demonstrations in Djakarta 2010. Foto: Oxfam in Indonesia

Has the first agreement between multinational companies and local unions strengthened freedom of association in Indonesia?

In this report Swedwatch examines the Freedom of Association Protocol, a new instrument with the potential to strengthen freedom of association rights and union activities at factory level in the sports shoe and apparel industry in Indonesia. This Protocol, which was signed by the unions, suppliers and brand name companies in Indonesia in 2011, not only establishes that unions are permitted but also provides a set of detailed guidelines as to what freedom of association will mean in practice at factory level.

The Protocol stipulates, among other things, that collective agreements will be negotiated locally, that unions will be supplied with their own premises and that employees will be able to get time off for union work.

In light of the effects of the Freedom of Association Protocol so far, the report shows that the Protocol has the potential to become a powerful, effective supplement to the brand name companies’ unilaterally developed codes of conduct, particularly when it comes to strengthening union work at factory level and, consequently, ultimately improving working conditions.