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Showing blog posts tagged with Solidarity Center

Send Solidarity Greetings to Bangladeshi Garment Workers

Following the Tazreen fire, thousands protested deadly working conditions in Bangladesh garment factories. Photo: BIGUF

A year ago, 112 garment workers were killed in a fire at the Tazreen Fashion Ltd. factory—and a thousand others were injured in the scramble to escape a building with no fire escapes and firmly barred windows.

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Tazreen Factory Fire: A Year Later, Survivors Feel Forgotten

Tazreen Factory Fire: A Year Later, Survivors Feel Forgotten

In interviews with the AFL-CIO Solidarity Center staff in Dhaka, the Bangladesh capital, many survivors said they were so injured in the blaze and escape from the building that they are unable to work again. Yet the compensation they received after the disaster—if they received any assistance at all—was not sufficient to cover initial medical bills, let alone pay for the expensive, ongoing care many need. Some were the sole breadwinners and, without the ability to work and with no financial assistance to see them through their recoveries, their families often go hungry, they cannot afford to send their children to school and many even risk losing their homes.

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Africa Expert: More Than One Type of Piracy Off Somalia

Dr. Abdi Samatar (forefront) and Michael Shank discussed the piracy of the rich and poor in Somalia. Photo: Kate Conradt

The new movie “Captain Phillips” tells only part of the story of Somali piracy—one that already has been repeated by the media and in policy making circles around the world, according to two Africa region experts. “The conventional conception of piracy in Somalia is myopic,” said Dr. Abdi Samatar. “There is more than one type of piracy off the Somali coast.”

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113 Nations Make Progress in Ending Worst Forms of Child Labor

Photo via Department of Labor

Working with her family in Malawi’s agriculture fields, where she toils in the hot sun, 8-year-old Ethel says when she harvests produce, “I get headaches and pain in my stomach.”

Ethel is one of 168 million child laborers around the world, 85 million of whom work in hazardous conditions. The 12th annual Department of Labor report, 2012 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor, released [Sept. 30], chronicles the progress of 143 governments in combating the worst forms of child labor, which includes working in agriculture like Ethel.

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ILO: Child Labor Declines, Worst Forms Will Remain by 2016

ILO Photo

The number of child laborers has declined by one-third globally, from 246 million in 2000 to 168 million in 2012, according to an International Labor Organization (ILO) report released Monday. Yet the report also shows that despite the reduction, the worst forms of child labor will not be eliminated by 2016, a goal sought by the ILO and its international allies.

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Experts: Bangladesh Accord Is a Game Changer

Solidarity Center photo

In a dramatic demonstration of how deadly the global supply chain really is, Scott Nova, director of the Worker Rights Consortium (WRC), opened a panel on workers' rights in Bangladesh during the recent AFL-CIO Convention with this observation:

Of the four deadliest factory disasters in history, three of those four happened in the last 12 months.

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Stop Honduran Labor Abuses Now

Photo of Amapala, Honduras by Adalberto.H.Vega, Flickr

On July 16, Kyungshin-Lear, a car parts manufacturing company with a factory in Honduras, fired three of nine newly elected union leaders. Within the following days, we have learned from our colleagues at the AFL-CIO Solidarity Center that the remaining six of the nine newly elected union leaders also were fired. Since January 2012, Kyungshin-Lear has fired 26 union leaders, with the company's most recent illegal firing of all nine union leaders in April 2013, and then in July, firing the nine union leaders who had been recently elected to replace the fired leaders from April.

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Unions Face Uncertainty After Flawed Zimbabwe Election

As results continue to be announced in Zimbabwe’s national elections, trade unions and other civil society partners are feeling a sense of dejection, as it appears that not only will Robert Mugabe continue his 33-year rule of the country for another five years, but his party ZANU-PF will secure a two-thirds parliamentary majority.

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Gender Equality: The Unfinished Business of the Labor Movement

Brazilian trade union leaders joined Solidarity Center Executive Director Shawna Bader-Blau (second from left) at the opening plenary. Photo: Matt Hersey

Women at every level are “moving the labor movement in new directions” and “inventing new kinds of worker organizations and new ways of being a trade unionist,” says labor historian Dorothy Sue Cobble.

 
 

Cobble, distinguished professor of history and labor studies at Rutgers University, was among several speakers opening a two-day AFL-CIO Solidarity Center conference this morning, “Women’s Empowerment, Gender Equality and Labor Rights: Transforming the Terrain.” Nearly 100 labor and community activists from 20 countries are gathered here in São Paulo, Brazil, to share strategies for achieving gender equality and worker rights in their unions and their workplaces.

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After Zimbabwe Elections, Union Worker Education Continues

Photo: Macpherson Photographers via the Solidarity Center

As Zimbabwe’s July 31 presidential elections approach, the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU), one of the country’s only nonpolitical, mass-based movements, plans to actively promote free and fair elections and, equally important, hold lawmakers accountable after elections.

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