Bangalore Garment Worker Pilot Report (2012)

A mobile communication platform that surveying workers using mobile phone technology, gathering real-time information on the right to work and rights at work.

Monitoring techniques used

LaborVoices provided a secure communication platform that is accessible to workers around the world through their mobile phones, free of charge. It creates a feedback loop for works by:

  • Providing direct educational messaging on topics such as local labor laws, human rights, freedom of association and collective bargaining.
  • Enabling them to report real-time information on the working conditions inside their factories.

The platform is co-designed with local NGOs, programmed in regional languages, and recorded in local voices. Anonymity of information sources prevent retaliation against workers. For example, LaborVoices piloted the platform with a Bangalore-based NGO to investigate the socio-economic conditions of Bangalore garment workers. The pilot was designed to provide educational and informational messaging on labor laws and locally available services. Workers were queried on compliance with local labor laws, specifically on their working hours, wages and overtime. The workers were also provided with the opportunity to record testimonials on workplace harassment.

Summary of findings

More than 300 workers from more than 20 factories actively participated in the pilot, accessing the platform both to receive messages and make reports. Quantitative records of wages and hours were collected, as well as overtime wages and hours. For example, 14% of respondents reported that they were not paid their overtime wages in the previous week. There were more than 90 audio testimonials on working conditions inside Bangalore factories. Through focus group discussions on the LaborVoices application and the pilot program, workers shared their appreciation for the ability to access information with their phones. 

Further Reading

LaborVoices, Bangalore Garment Worker Pilot Report. Link to source

LaborVoices:, Monitoring Safety, Wages, and Working Conditions For Bangladeshi Garment Workers. Link to source.

Working Group(s):