A Social Labor for Social Dialogue: A Proposal to Improve Working Conditions for Women in the Guatemalan Apparel Industry

By | Guatemala, Social dialogue


The only two independent unions in the Guatemalan apparel industry are suffering a decline in union membership and have become impotent against management bullying. Guatemalan women workers, who make up 80 percent of the apparel industry workforce, face entrenched impediments to their participation in organized labor, effectively preventing them from improving workplace conditions. The underlying reason is that the Guatemalan culture of machismo creates physical and social barriers that deny women the opportunity to develop and exercise their agency in the workplace or in their union. This presents a quandary for legal and social schemes that rely on union-inspired worker activism to improve workplace conditions but that fail to consider the gender context that stunts women’s participation in organized labor. This paper proposes the Trade Fair Label, a social labeling scheme based on worker-manager social
dialogue units, that addresses the shortcomings of oft-utilized corporate social responsibility schemes and that defies the impediments created by the culture of machismo.


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Trade Unions for Social Dialogue

By | Benin, Cambodia, Guatemala, Indonesia, Nicaragua, Niger, Peru, Social dialogue, Tunisia

Trade Union Co-Financing Programme 2017-2020 Summary
CNV Internationaal Foundation is a civil society organisation, connected to the National Confederation of Christian Trade Unions (CNV) in the Netherlands. CNV Internationaal has worked with trade unions in developing countries since its establishment in 1967. Together with its partner organisations, CNV Internationaal protects and promotes workers’ rights by means of a consultative and coherent model, based on Christian social traditions. Social dialogue, trade union pluralism and workers’ individual responsibility are key values. CNV Internationaal’s mission is to contribute to Decent Work in developing countries by strengthening the position of workers in the formal and informal economy. CNV Internationaal focuses on social dialogue, labour rights in supply chains and youth employability.


Corporate Social Responsibility in International Production Chains

By | Cambodia, Guatemala, Madagascar, Social dialogue

Justice, solidarity, responsibility, sustainability and compassion are the five core values CNV Internationaal uses as a touchstone for everything we do. Every day, CNV Internationaal aspires to improve the working and living conditions of people in our partner countries. Many of the products we buy here are produced in these partner countries, where there is little protection of workers in terms of income, working conditions and safety. Eight-year-old children are sent down the cobalt mines, people working in forestry do not get a hard hat and safety shoes, people work 16 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you don’t agree with something or ask probing questions, you lose your job. And workers often have no right to associate and negotiate a collective bargaining agreement.