Shortcut Navigation:


Showing blog posts by Charlie Fanning

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.

Read more and comment »

5 Things You Should Know About the Labor Movement in Swaziland

This week, the AFL-CIO will award the annual George Meany-Lane Kirkland Human Rights Award to the Trade Union Confederation of Swaziland (TUCOSWA). Created in 1980 and named for the first two presidents of the AFL-CIO, the award recognizes outstanding examples of the international struggle for human rights through trade unions. We don’t blame you for not knowing much about current events in Swaziland—it is one of the smallest countries in Africa, landlocked between South Africa and Mozambique—but you really should take a moment to learn about how Swazi unions are leading a heroic struggle for democracy in their country against incredible odds.

Read more and comment »

With Malaysia Upgrade, Administration Puts TPP Agenda Ahead of Trafficking Victims and Workers' Rights

A migrant worker in Malaysia. Photo Credit: Malaysia Trades Union Congress.

Today, the Obama administration made the disastrous decision to upgrade Malaysia—a major player in the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Free Trade Agreement—on its annual Trafficking in Persons report. This clearly political decision undermines the credibility of important anti-trafficking efforts and underscores the fact that the Obama administration is willing to pursue its anti-worker trade agenda at all costs. It is also yet another sign that the TPP will only continue a global race to the bottom in wages and working conditions. 

Read more and comment »

'Ethnic Cleansing' in the Western Hemisphere: The Impending Deportation Crisis in the Dominican Republic

The deadline has now passed for hundreds of thousands of workers and families in the Dominican Republic to register with the government and they now face the threat of becoming stateless and being deported. There is a long legacy of discrimination against Haitians and Dominicans of Haitian descent in the Dominican Republic. However, since a September 2013 Supreme Court ruling that revoked the citizenship of those born in the country since 1929 who could not prove their parents’ migration status, they have been facing increasing levels of violence and discrimination and reports indicate that law enforcement authorities have been “cleansing” neighborhoods of so-called undesirable elements—mainly by detaining Dominicans with Haitian features. Now, these workers and families could be deported to the Haitian border, though many may not have any ties to Haiti, speak little or no Creole, and lack eligibility for Haitian citizenship.

Read more and comment »

Immigrant Workers Take Their Case to Human Rights Commission

Photo courtesy Jessica Lucia on Flickr

After nearly nine years of waiting, two immigrant workers who suffered serious workplace injuries were able to bring their cases to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR)—an international body that promotes and protects human rights in the Americas. However, because of dysfunctional U.S. immigration policies the workers could not be in the room. In fact, both of them faced deportation threats after seeking workers’ compensation after their accidents. Now they are challenging the U.S. government's failure to protect their rights from their homes in Mexico, represented by the American Civil Liberties Union, the National Employment Law Project and the University of Pennsylvania's Transnational Legal Clinic.

Read more and comment »

Uber–U.N. Partnership Won’t Drive Women to Workplace Equality

This week, as thousands of women gathered at the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women to assess the progress of women’s rights 20 years after the historic Beijing Women’s Conference, participants were shocked to learn of a major plan to expand the low-wage Uber model around the world and create even more precarious work for women workers. 

Read more and comment »

TPP: Four Potential Partners Don’t Comply with International Labor Rights

TPP: Four Potential Partners Don’t Comply with International Labor Rights

A new AFL-CIO report released today finds that four nations that would be major players under the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) are out of compliance with international labor standards and, therefore, with the commitments they would undertake under the TPP. The report—The Trans-Pacific Partnership: Four Countries That Don’t Comply with U.S. Trade Laws—finds that workers in Mexico, Malaysia, Vietnam and Brunei face ongoing and systematic abuse and violations of workers’ rights with the complicity or direct involvement of the governments.

Read more and comment »

Obama Administration Honors Coalition of Immokalee Workers for Fight Against Forced Labor; Strengthens Regulations to Combat Trafficking

Forced labor and human trafficking exist in worksites and industries where workers’ rights are routinely violated and where a culture of exploitation reigns. In the tomato fields of Florida, more than 1,200 farm workers once toiled in conditions of forced labor. However, thanks to the organizing efforts of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW), these workers now have respect on the job, higher wages and a say on the job.


Read more and comment »

Haiti’s Workers Still Struggling Five Years After Devastating Earthquake

Five years ago today an earthquake struck Haiti, killing more than 200,000 people and leaving another 1.5 million homeless. The disaster was followed by a string of tropical storms and a cholera epidemic that killed at least 8,000 people. Haiti is slowly rebuilding, albeit unevenly. More than 85,000 displaced Haitians still live in tent camps. Despite billions of dollars in international aid and philanthropy going to Haiti, poor management of the funds and rampant subcontracting has hindered the recovery. Workers and unions have been on the front lines in the reconstructions efforts in Haiti providing direct assistance, with unions like AFT and the AFL-CIO’s Solidarity Center leading numerous aid and relief projects.

Read more and comment »

On Global Day to Abolish Slavery, Protesters Target Qatar, FIFA

On Tuesday, Washington, D.C., area labor and human rights activists gathered outside the Embassy of Qatar to protest the country’s abhorrent record of human rights abuses and forced labor in an action marking U.N. International Day for the Abolition of Slavery. 

Read more and comment »

Online Community

Connect With Us

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • YouTube
  • Flickr

Get Email from AFL-CIO

Msg & data rates may apply. Text STOP to 235246 to stop receiving messages. Text HELP to 235246 for more information.


Join Us Online