Back to the Future? Mature systems of industrial relations approaches and social upgrading in outsourced apparel supply chains.

Doug Miller, Simon Turner, Tom Grinter, 2010

Name of publisher/editor

Capturing the Gains Working Paper

Geographic area




Summary & key words

As the auditing model for assuring social compliance in apparel commodity chains continues to be called into question, the global quest continues for institutions, policies and governance structures which can contribute towards the protection of worker rights, the attainment of decent work and an upgrading of working conditions and competencies. One such model, promoted by the International Textile, Garment and Leather Workers Federation, calls for the installation of mature systems of industrial relations (MSIR) based on trade union recognition, procedural agreements and collective bargaining. This working paper charts the origins of MSIR, and deconstructs the approach into its constituent elements and critically assesses these against the backdrop of governance debates in outsourced apparel production. Some conclusions and recommendations are drawn for a future research agenda on this aspect of social upgrading. 


Subject (Categories)

economic social