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Showing blog posts by Charlie Fanning

Stand in Solidarity with Cambodian Garment Workers on Today’s Global Day of Action

Cambodian garment workers sewing products for companies such as H&M, Gap, Adidas, Zara and Puma make $100 a month and suffer through long hours in harsh working conditions. Their labor supports a $5 billion industry, but their demands for a living wage have only been answered with violence. When workers and their unions held protests late last year to demand a living wage increase, police killed five workers and imprisoned another 25 union activists on criminal charges that have not been dismissed.

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Mexican Union Leader Napoleón Gómez Urrutia Wins Historic Legal Appeal

The federal judiciary of Mexico extended protection late last week to the embattled leader of the National Union of Mine, Metal, Steel and Allied Workers (Los Mineros), Napoleón Gómez Urrutia. In what will go down as a historic victory for the Mexican labor movement, the three judges of the circuit court unanimously declared the arrest warrants against Gómez unconstitutional, siding with Gómez’s legal defense team that the charges were without merit and politically motivated. This ruling will allow Gómez to return to Mexico in absolute freedom, as the Mexican government must now cancel extradition requests pending in Canada and with Interpol.

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As Summit Concludes, U.S. and African Unions Pledge Partnership, Push Pro-Worker Policies

As Summit Concludes, U.S. and African Unions Pledge Partnership, Push Pro-Worker Policies

Last week African trade union leaders from across the continent converged on Washington, D.C., to push U.S. and African leaders to focus on decent work, worker rights and job creation during the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit. They challenged the growing “Africa Rising" narrative, which mainly focuses on macro-level economic growth, trade opportunities and growing consumer markets for international corporations, and sought to refocus the debate on policy changes that would improve the lives of working families.

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Tackling the Root Causes of the Refugee Crisis at the U.S. Border

Tackling the Root Causes of the Refugee Crisis at the U.S. Border

For months, thousands of children and families from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala have been turning themselves in at the southern U.S. border, fleeing widespread violence, poverty and corruption in their communities. This influx of refugees has strained the resources of front-line responders and evoked both humanitarian responses from community groups and local unions and xenophobic backlash from right-wing politicians and activists.

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On International Mandela Day, Lessons for U.S. and African Leaders

On International Mandela Day, Lessons for U.S. and African Leaders

Today marks Nelson Mandela International Day, a celebration of the great South African leader’s birth, life and legacy. It was launched in 2008 with a unanimous decision by the U.N. General Assembly. Mandela dedicated his life to fighting for equality, justice, democracy and the dignity of working people. He encouraged us all to act together to change the world for the better. And around the world today, people are committing to service projects in his honor.

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'Don’t Sleep with the Sultan,' Urge Workers, Women and the LGBTQ Community

'Don’t Sleep with the Sultan,' Urge Workers, Women and the LGBTQ Community

Today, workers, women, and activists from the LGBTQ community protested outside the Embassy of Brunei in Washington, D.C., as part of an international day of action against the sultan of Brunei’s ongoing union-busting and human rights violations. Brunei is a tiny, oil-rich country in Southeast Asia, ruled by Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, who has used his role as absolute monarch to amass an estimated wealth of $20 billion and maintain strict control over society. Under the banner of “Don’t Sleep with the Sultan,” UNITE HERE Local 25 led a broad array of workers and activists in the demonstration, which drew attention to labor and human rights violations in both the United States and Brunei.

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On Anniversary of Historic ILO Convention, Domestic Workers Speak Out Worldwide

Image via the National Domestic Workers Alliance

By caring for our homes and loved ones, domestic workers do the work that makes all other work possible. Unfortunately, the important labor of some 100 million domestic workers worldwide frequently goes unrecognized. In fact, domestic workers are vulnerable to labor exploitation, sexual assault and even forced labor and trafficking because they are mainly women, their workplace is behind closed doors and, in many places, they still are not covered under labor laws. In the United States, domestic workers are excluded from the most basic fairness and safety regulations on the job, including minimum wage and hour laws.

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The International Labour Organization Adopts New Standards to Eradicate Forced Labor

The International Labour Organization (ILO) has adopted a new treaty, known as a forced labor protocol, to fight modern forms of forced labor and to protect and compensate victims.  The new treaty strengthens the outdated 1930 ILO convention on forced labor, and contains two sections that will bring the international community’s response to forced labor into the modern era with regulations and guidance on practices such as human trafficking, forced labor in the private sector and the exploitation of migrant workers.   

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21 Million Workers Toil in Conditions of Forced Labor—Call on Governments to Take Action

Today’s global economy conceals a vicious, virtually invisible underworld of modern-day slavery. More than a century since most of the industrialized world outlawed slavery, more than 21 million workers toil in conditions of forced labor. These workers are generally the poorest among us, with the fewest opportunities. They can be found in fields, mines and factories in distant lands or down the street in a local restaurant or in a neighbor’s home—and their collective work generates a growing illegal profit of more than $150 billion.

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Unions and Civil Society Speak Out for International Migrants’ Rights and Decent Work

Unions and Civil Society Speak Out for International Migrants’ Rights and Decent Work

International migration drives the global economy. There are about 232 million migrants in the world, the overwhelming majority moving to work and building a better life. Governments have a responsibility to answer a fundamental question that impacts the entire global labor market: How should people be treated as they move from their communities and across borders? 

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