Ceccon, D., & Ahmad, I. (2018). Are Collective Agreements in Cambodia, Indonesia, Pakistan and Vietnam Guaranteeing Decent Working Conditions? Analysis and Comparison from the WageIndicator Database. Paper for ILERA, 2018, South Korea, 23-27 July 2018. WageIndicator Foundation, Amsterdam

Ceccon, D., & Ahmad, I. (2018). Are Collective Agreements in Cambodia, Indonesia, Pakistan and Vietnam Guaranteeing Decent Working Conditions? Analysis and Comparison from the WageIndicator Database. Paper prepared for presentation at the “18th International Labour and Employment Relations Association (ILERA) World Congress”. COEX, Seoul, Korea. 23-27 July 2018. WageIndicator Foundation, Amsterdam

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ABSTRACT

In Asia, as well as all over the rest of the world, the lives of millions are affected by their working conditions. The responsibility to provide decent working provisions concerns - among other actors - the governments: ratifying ILO conventions is the first step a country can take in this regard, followed by enacting suitable legal regulations and enforcing those effectively. However, national labour law is often not sufficient, either because it doesn’t cover all of the issues affecting workers, or because it is too general. The role of collective bargaining could then be crucial to improve the effect of the labour law, by giving better provisions, tackling the issues in a more detailed way, and adapting the regulations for the workers of a specific sector or company. But is this really happening? Are collective agreements (CBAs) in South and Southeast Asia improving the provisions of national regulations? Where is this tool being used in the most effective way in this area? This paper strives to answer these questions, focusing in particular on the capability of collective bargaining in guaranteeing decent working conditions in one South Asian country – Pakistan – and in three Southeast Asian countries – Cambodia, Indonesia and Vietnam. The analysis covers the content of 215 recent collective agreements (mostly signed between 2009 and 2015) coming from Pakistan (82 CBAs), Cambodia (6 CBAs), Vietnam (5 CBAs) and Indonesia (122 CBAs). These agreements have been collected by the WageIndicator Foundation and are coded in the WageIndicator Collective Agreements Database.

Keywords: Collective agreements, Collective Agreements Database, labour law, labour conditions, Pakistan, Indonesia, Vietnam, Cambodia