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Showing blog posts by Charlie Fanning

Advancing Immigration Reform in Maryland

Advancing Immigration Reform in Maryland

In a time of heated rhetoric and divisiveness around immigration, Maryland’s unions, faith community and immigrant rights groups are leading the way forward on state-level immigration reform. Two bills are currently under consideration in Maryland that would offer significant protections to immigrant workers and families—the Maryland Law Enforcement and Governmental Trust Act (H.B. 1362/S.B. 0835) and the Regulation of Farm Labor Contractors and Foreign Labor Contractors Act (H.B. 1307/S.B. 1016). The measures proposed in these bills would help ensure that our law enforcement policies respect due process and protect civil rights in the workplace and community, and would expand protections within guest worker programs.

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ITUC Youth Forum Sets Agenda for Young Workers’ Movement

ITUC Youth Forum Sets Agenda for Young Workers’ Movement

Across the world, young people face tremendous challenges that have left many wondering whether they will be worse off than previous generations. High youth unemployment and underemployment, budget cuts and deteriorating public services, and right-wing parties taking power in many parts of the world make it more critical than ever that young workers build power across borders.

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Why We Are Honoring Maina Kiai: Defending the Freedom of Association Is Central to Upholding Human Rights

Why We Are Honoring Maina Kiai: Defending the Freedom of Association Is Central to Upholding Human Rights

On the occasion of International Human Rights Day—at a time when human, labor and civil rights are under attack in the United States and globally—it is critical that workers are empowered to speak up and act out for justice. Human rights at work only can be defended when the fundamental right to freedom of association is respected and workers can organize for change.
 
That’s why, next week, the AFL-CIO will present the annual 2016 George Meany–Lane Kirkland Human Rights Award to Maina Kiai, the U.N. special rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association.

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In the Shadow of Obama's Refugee Summit and U.N., Global Labor Movement and Immigrant Leaders Speak Out

As world leaders met in the U.N. General Assembly and the Obama administration's Leaders’ Summit to make a new commitment to address mass movements of refugees and migrants, labor and immigrant leaders gathered by the United Nations to call on governments to promote dignity and decent work for those on the move.

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Stand #WithRefugees Ahead of Global Summit

AFL-CIO Executive Vice President Tefere Gebre, who came to this country as a child refugee, has a message for world leaders: “It’s time to step up.” This Sept. 19 at the United Nations, governments will meet in a global summit to develop a plan for addressing large movements of refugees and migrants. It is essential that they make commitments to open up opportunities, rather than close borders, and work together to protect the human and labor rights of families on the move.

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Trade or Human Rights? Integrity of State Department Trafficking Report Still an Open Question

Trade or Human Rights? Integrity of State Department Trafficking Report Still an Open Question

The State Department’s annual Trafficking in Persons report is a powerful tool to hold governments accountable for their failures to prevent human trafficking. The report ranks governments worldwide into one of three tiers based on their efforts to combat and prevent trafficking and forced labor, with the lowest ranking of tier three carrying economic sanctions. The release of the 2016 report has been met with mixed reviews from labor and anti-trafficking groups.

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In the Wake of Deadly Clashes, AFL-CIO Stands with Mexican Teachers Union

At least eight protesters were killed and 53 injured earlier this week in clashes with police in Oaxaca, Mexico, during demonstrations against neoliberal education reforms. The teachers union in Oaxaca has been leading protests this summer against the federal government’s move to impose a national education plan that blankets over indigenous concerns in Oaxaca and imposes teacher evaluations that disadvantage schools in the poor region, as well as attacks against the union, including the controversial arrests of union leaders, mass firings of protesting teachers and the freezing of union bank accounts.

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AFL-CIO Joins International Mission Demanding Accountability and Human Rights Protections in Honduras

On March 3, human rights activists denounced the assassination of Berta Cáceres, a leader for indigenous rights and environmental justice with the Council of Indigenous and Popular Organizations of Honduras. The Ides of March in Honduras demonstrated once again that the shocking level of violence against activists since the 2009 coup—with some 200 murdered—has reached crisis proportions.

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Labor Law Reforms in Qatar Fall Short; Migrant Workers Still Vulnerable to Forced Labor

Photo courtesy Juanedc on Flickr

After over a year of anticipation, the government of Qatar last week unveiled its highly touted labor law reforms. While labor rights activists had hoped the reforms might begin to address the widespread abuse of migrant workers and the prevalence of forced labor in Qatar’s massive infrastructure projects, not surprisingly, they fell far short of bringing the labor code in line with international norms. As Qatar is set to host the 2022 World Cup, and 700,000 more migrant workers have been recruited to develop the country at breakneck speed, the lives of thousands of workers could be on the line.

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