Freedom of Association

§ 5
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.