The program has undergone a successful pilot launch in Taiwan. The aim is to scale the program by:
- Communicating the social and business value of the approach to multinationals and their suppliers (Verit? and Clear Voice). This effort will take advantage of academic research that clarifies the social and economic value to workers of improved working conditions.
- Expanding delivery capacity in Taiwan and in the three new countries by recruiting new 'local' NGO partners and training their staff (Verit?).
- Conducting outreach to multinationals in the electronics and automotive industries both individually and through industry associations with which both Verit? and Clear Voice are familiar (Verit? and Clear Voice). Of particular relevance will be working through the Electronics Industry Citizenship Coalition, to which Verit? is an accredited trainer and social auditor.
- Bringing new multinationals and new factories online as they are recruited.
Verit? and Clear Voice Hotline anticipate recruiting five workplaces employing an average of 4500 workers before summer 2009. In each of the subsequent three years, they anticipate adding ten additional workplaces with the same average employment level for a total of 157,500 workers covered during this initial phase.
Migrant workers in Asia are vulnerable to financial exploitation, discrimination and dangerous working conditions. The Bringing Voice project will provide a confidential mechanism by which workers with problems can communicate to an independent third party.
Verit?-trained caseworkers will receive emails, SMS text messages and mobile calls from workers who wish to file a grievance or report a workplace problem in accordance with Clear Voice Hotline protocols. These caseworkers will log the grievance, interview the worker to determine details of the case, and relay the nature of the problem to factory management and, in some cases, the multinational buyer of goods from that factory. The factory then communicates to the Bringing Voice program that the violation has been resolved.
Implementation of the Bringing Voice program requires the financial and in-kind support of multinationals that purchase goods from Asian supplier factories as well as the suppliers themselves. Factories must communicate the availability of the programs to their workers, and commit to non-retaliation against complainants. They must also provide access for workers to orientation seminars in which the workers earn about the program. Bringing Voices currently have support from one multi-national company.
Verité and ClearVoice continue to seek businesses operating in Southeast Asian factories, that employ migrant workers, to adopt the proposed hotline.
Partnership opportunities are available in the following ways:
- Partnership with companies that aim to ensure their products are made under ethical conditions.
- Investment from those who believe ethical treatment of workers is both socially valuable and economically valuable.
- Investment from foundations who want to see sustainable change for low-wage and vulnerable workers, many of whom are women.