Sectoral collective bargaining – Learning from the experience in the Jordanian garment sector

The ILO Garment Industry Project focuses on improving labour relations in the Myanmar garment industry. The project has developed and is delivering a thorough 20 days training programme on social dialogue, including collective bargaining, for managers, workers and trade union representatives, of factory’s Workplace Coordinating Committees.

Date issued: 24 June 2020 | Size/duration: 00:07:03

Collective bargaining is a key means through which employers and their organizations and trade unions can negotiate fair wages and working conditions. It also provides the basis for sound labour relations. The objective of these negotiations is to arrive at a collective agreement that regulates terms and conditions of employment. Collective agreements may also address the rights and responsibilities of the parties thus ensuring harmonious and productive industries and workplaces.

Collective bargaining may take place with a single employer at the enterprise, establishment or plant level, or within a multi-employer setting at industry, regional or centralized inter-professional level.

In May 2013, a groundbreaking sectoral collective bargaining agreement was signed between the Jordan Garments, Accessories and Textiles Exporters' Association, the Association of Owners of Factories, Workshops and Garments, and the General Trade Union of Workers in Textile, Garment and Clothing Industries. The process was assisted by the ILO-Better Work Jordan programme (a joint initiative between the ILO and the International Finance Corporation in Jordan). Better Work Jordan supported the effort by introducing the concept to the employers and the garment union in early 2012 and later provided separate collective bargaining training to both sides utilizing ILO expertise to help the employers and the union prepare for negotiations. In December 2019, the sectoral collective bargaining agreement was updated and expanded to include topics such as wage and annual payment increases. More information on the experience can be found here.

As an extension to the work of the ILO-GIP on social dialogue, including training on collective bargaining, the video of the promising Jordanian experience has been subtitled in Myanmar language in order to be used as an education tool by Myanmar garment stakeholders.