Call Workers. Combine Responses. Share Truth
While working on labor provisions in trade agreements at the U.S. State Department, Kohl Gill realized he was not the only one making decisions based on questionable information. “You can’t make proper trade policy decisions, as a government o cial; you can’t navigate your way to a good job as a worker.
You can’t make proper trade policy decisions as a government o cial; you can’t navigate your way to a good job as a worker. You can’t choose a great supplier as a buyer; and even as a supplier you can’t di erentiate yourself against your competition.”
LaborVoices facilitates greater transparency in international labor markets by crowdsourcing intelligence directly from laborers via mobile phone surveys and using it to push for changes within supply chains. LV works with local organizations to reach out to workers and provide them with a toll-free number that they can dial to connect to audio portals programmed in regional languages. Once connected, workers both contribute content about a range of topics related to their working conditions and receive information about their rights and local services. LV then aggregates this worker-generated information and analyzes it to generate credible, real-time and actionable reporting on working conditions around the world. Such information has tremendous value for a wide range of stakeholders, including international labor rights organizations and big corporate brands that can use the information to promote and track working conditions. Ultimately, LV sees itself as a platform to connect workers around the world and thus facilitates improved transparency in global supply chains.
We connect workers in supply chain factories and farms around the world. Our goal is to build a TripAdvisor for workers that allows them to find the best jobs available to them.”
- To date, 350 workers have used the LaborVoices platform in India, Bangladesh, Argentina and four other countries. In addition to these areas of current operation, LV has the capacity to support projects in more than 50 countries worldwide. LV is currently working with C&A Foundation and USAID individually to implement its platform in Turkey and Bangladesh.
- With its unique combination of local outreach, regional languages and constant communication, LV finds itself with 14 times as much participation as other peer organizations conducting worker surveys.
- After using the LV platform, factories have taken measures to reduce harassment, while conditions and productivity have improved. For example, LV’s case study in Bangladesh shows the incidence of verbal abuse dropped 33 percent, 93 percent of toilets were cleaner and the overall factory rating increased by 53 percent. On average, factories that use the LV platform have been able to improve working conditions by an average of 50 percent.