This theme measures the extent to which a company engages with workers in its supply chains on labor rights, enables freedom of association and collective bargaining for its supply chain workers, and takes steps to ensure access to effective and trusted grievance mechanisms.
Apparel & Footwear
Alongside Recruitment, Worker Voice was the lowest-scoring theme in the benchmark. Forty-three percent of the companies disclosed working with unions to support freedom of association and collective bargaining in their supply chains. Yet only two companies (5%) could point to concrete examples of how they improved freedom of association in their supply chains, a critical prerequisite to tackling forced labor. While it is positive that the majority of companies (76%) disclosed that grievance mechanisms are available for their suppliers’ workers, access to remedy seems far out of reach. When asking for examples of the types of grievances received via such mechanisms—a useful proxy for whether workers are aware of, know how to use, and trust a grievance mechanism—only 35% of companies could point to examples in the first tier, and only 5% were able to provide example of grievances raised by workers or their representatives in the lower tiers of their supply chains.
Food & Beverage
Worker Voice is the lowest-scoring theme of the benchmark. Though a significant proportion of companies disclose a grievance mechanism for their suppliers’ workers, there is a lack of disclosure evidencing that the mechanism is known to and used by workers. Moreover, less than a quarter of companies disclose that they support freedom of association in their supply chains by engaging with local or global trade unions.
Information & Communications Technology
Worker Voice is the lowest-scoring theme of the benchmark. All companies score zero on their efforts to support freedom of association in their supply chains, revealing a significant gap in company efforts to address forced labor in their supply chains. In fact, except for one company, Apple, all companies score below 50 on the theme of Worker Voice. Even on themes where improvements across companies are limited, there are typically a few new notable practices from more advanced companies that can be identified. Worker Voice is the only theme in the benchmark where no (new) notable practices could be identified.