Freedom of Association

Respecting freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining

With the carpet industry being an informal sector, organization and trade unions are rare. Where trade unions exist – STEP seeks dialogue and promotes good cooperation between them and the producers for the benefit of the workers.

But in many cases weavers and workers in the carpet industry are unorganized. Especially in the rather isolated home work environment, this can further weaken the weavers’ position and increase the risk for exploitation. That’s why STEP actively promotes the organization of weaver groups and supports them with training and capacity building.


Workers have the right to establish their own organization and/or to join trade unions or other organizations of their own choosing. Companies facilitate collective bargaining with trade unions or other forms of independently organized worker representations.


The employer has to enter into collective bargaining if legal requirements are fulfilled, for instance, if a given ratio of trade union member is achieved. The employer meets on a regular basis with democratically elected and independently organized worker representatives to discuss issues raised by the workforce and to negotiate agreement, particularly on improving working conditions.


Other STEP Standards

Health and Safety

Fair Wages

Prohibition of Child Labour

Protection from Discrimination

Prohibition of Forced Labour

Humane Treatment

Regulation of Working Hours

Environmental Protection

Audits and Transparency

Get Involved

Learn more about our Certified Label
STEP Fair Trade Partners.

Support weavers by becoming a Partner in the fair trade of handmade carpets.