"Worker voice" has become a new CSR buzz word signalling recognition that social audits do not adequately allow companies to engage with workers or understand issues that only workers can report. New "worker voice providers" offer applications to help companies engage with workers. But what is it for workers to have a voice?
Independent Monitoring for Public Procurement
The Greater London Authority (GLA), a strategic regional authority in the United Kingdom, affiliated to Electronics Watch at the end of 2018. The GLA is responsible for delivering transport, policing, economic development, fire and emergency planning services, and consists of three functional bodies — Transport for London (a founding member of Electronics Watch), the Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime, and the London Fire Commissioner. Another large consortium, "Sustainable Public Procurement," a national collaboration between the Swedish County Councils and Regions, has also affiliated.
Electronics Watch and our monitoring partner, the Migrant Worker Rights Network (MWRN), have for over two years been documenting excessive recruitment-related fees and expenses that migrant workers from Myanmar pay to get a job at two sites of Cal-Comp Electronics (Thailand). While working conditions have improved in some respects following buyer intervention, industry attempts to detect, remedy and prevent excessive recruitment fees and related forced labour risk have not yet been effective.
The mission of Electronics Watch is to help public sector organisations work together, and collaborate with civil society monitors in production regions, to protect the rights of workers in their electronics supply chains.