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Showing blog posts tagged with AFL-CIO International

As Zimbabwe Heads to the Polls

As Zimbabwe heads to the polls for parliamentary and presidential elections in two days, the country is again poised for another tightly contested and controversial struggle for popular support between those seeking to transition the country to multi-party democracy, rule of law and respect for human rights and an entrenched security and political establishment led by an aging autocrat, Robert Mugabe, seeking to hold on to the spoils of power. 

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Union Members Protest Outside Mexican Embassy to Support Greater Trade Union Rights

Union Members Protest Outside Mexican Embassy to Support Greater Trade Union Rights

As part of a six-day worldwide labor solidarity campaign, American union members protested outside the Mexican Embassy in Washington, D.C., yesterday in support of greater trade union rights and protections in Mexico.

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Bahrain: Consultations an Important Opening to Protect Human Rights, Promote Regional Security

Bahraini workers rally for democracy at the Pearl Roundabout in Manama, March 2011, photo courtesy of ITUC.

Finally, 17 months after the U.S. Department of Labor accepted a complaint detailing the government of Bahrain’s repeated violations of the free-trade agreement with the United States, the department has reported its findings. 

This report, issued today, is laudable for its call for bilateral consultations to address ongoing worker rights violations. However, the delay in its release has been costly—for Bahraini workers, for U.S. credibility as a human rights defender and for workers in other countries with bilateral trade agreements with the United States. If the U.S. government does not live up to its commitments and hold Bahrain accountable to the trade agreement’s labor chapter, then why should we expect other trading partners to bother?  

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Still a Long Way to Go for Labor Rights in Colombia

A Colombian worker loading palm fruit—palm plantations are notorious for their use of cooperatives to avoid direct employment relationships, despite being fined by the Ministry of Labor.

Celeste Drake, trade policy specialist for the AFL-CIO, sends us this. 

It’s been more than seven months since the U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement (Columbia FTA) went into effect, and many U.S. workers are wondering exactly how the agreement is benefiting workers in either country. Unfortunately, there are no easy answers. For America’s workers, the U.S. trade deficit with Colombia is on track to exceed last year’s deficit—never good news for job creation or wage growth. Meanwhile, Colombian workers still face momentous obstacles when trying to exercise even the most basic of workplace rights, including the right to organize unions and act collectively for better working conditions. 

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Workers and Community Activists Take on Mining Corporation in Mexico

Brian Finnegan talks to mineworkers and community members.

At 6 a.m., the AFL-CIO participated as an international observer as mineworkers and community members peacefully blocked access to the Canadian mining company Excellon Resources Inc. at La Platosa mine in Durango, Mexico. The protesters have maintained their camp at the entrance of the mine since July 8. They continue to seek negotiation and demand a resolution to the conflicts between Excellon, local landowners and workers in the mine.

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Bahrain's Denial of Visas to Rights Activists Underscores Contempt for Human and Worker Rights

This is an excerpt from The Huffington Post article, "Bahrain's Denial of Visas to Rights Activists Underscores Contempt for Human and Worker Rights," by Cathy Feingold, director of AFL-CIO's International Department. 

What is the best way for the United States to stand against violent repression, the quashing of dissent, show trials, torture and other egregious violations of human and civil rights?

In the case of Bahrain, apparently, it is to include the country in a new U.S. trade and investment plan and offer mostly silence as the regime crushes its opposition, invests heavily in a public relations campaign and closes off the country to human rights and social justice activists.

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