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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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South Korean Trade Union Leaders and Members Face Harsh Jail Sentences for Peaceful Demonstrations

South Korean Trade Union Leaders and Members Face Harsh Jail Sentences for Peaceful Demonstrations

Union leaders and members have been at the forefront of the fight for social justice in South Korea, organizing and participating in peaceful demonstrations throughout 2015, including protests against the weakening of worker protections. Disturbingly, the South Korean government has increasingly responded to dissent with police brutality, mass arrests and harsh jail sentences targeted at leaders.

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Workers at Global Labor Meeting Protest the Removal of Brazil's Democratically Elected President

Workers at Global Labor Meeting Protest the Removal of Brazil's Democratically Elected President

Workers from many countries this week made clear they reject the process in Brazil to remove democratically elected president Dilma Rousseff. Workers from around the world unite every June at the annual International Labor Conference in Geneva, Switzerland, to debate with governments and employers and defend workers' rights. While this year's meetings have focused on improving wages and conditions in global supply chains, worker delegations took the opportunity to make their opinions known when the interim government of Brazil's minister of labor began to address the plenary on Wednesday.

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Black Trade Unionists Call on Obama to Condemn Coup and Support Brazil’s Democratically Elected Government

Black Trade Unionists Call on Obama to Condemn Coup and Support Brazil’s Democratically Elected Government

On May 29, the 45th annual convention of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists voted unanimously to support democracy and denounce what activists around the world are calling a legislative coup in Brazil. President Dilma Rouseff, re-elected by 54 million Brazilians in 2014, was leading the fourth consecutive Workers’ Party government, whose policies had lifted more than 40 million people out of poverty in the majority black nation, the largest black country outside of Africa.

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AFL-CIO Stands with Brazilian Workers and Democracy

Photo courtesy Wikipedia

Over the last few months, right-wing forces in Brazil have seized the opening created by a failing economy and corruption investigations involving all political parties to suspend a democratically elected president. The politicians leading the effort to remove the president are implicated in multimillion-dollar scandals. Ironically, there are no corruption or other criminal charges against the president, Dilma Rousseff.

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California Labor Joins Union Delegation to Brazil

California Labor Joins Union Delegation to Brazil

Last week, I had the amazing opportunity to be a delegate representing the AFL-CIO to the third Congress of the Trade Union Confederation of the Americas, at the invitation of AFL-CIO Executive Vice President Tefere Gebre. 

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Bangladesh: Garment Workers, Unions Demand Justice on Anniversary of Activist’s Murder

Bangladesh: Garment Workers, Unions Demand Justice on Anniversary of Activist’s Murder

Four years after the tortured, lifeless body of Bangladesh garment worker–organizer Aminul Islam was discovered in a ditch, his killers have yet to be arrested. Yesterday, the Bangladesh Garment and Industrial Workers Federation and Bangladesh Center for Workers Solidarity demanded that authorities find and bring Aminul’s killers to trial.

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What Colombia Can Teach Us About the TPP

Photo courtesy Notimex on YouTube

In the past five years, 126 trade unionists have been assassinated in Colombia. This is in addition to 74 other murder attempts. Investigations have produced almost no indictments or convictions. Colombia continues to fail to formalize employment, to protect working people who want a voice on the job and to address vast inequality.

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Family and Allies of Berta Cáceres Remember Her Life and Continue Her Struggle

Family and Allies of Berta Cáceres Remember Her Life and Continue Her Struggle

Like many who speak up in Honduras, indigenous leader Berta Cáceres was murdered for her activism. She was repeatedly threatened and eventually murdered just before midnight on March 2. Since 1993, Cáceres worked to build a democratic, just and sustainable Honduras. More than a month after her assassination, there is little reason to believe that the Honduran government is handling the investigation properly or addressing the causes of this and many other acts of violence against human rights defenders. As a reminder to those in positions of power to bring justice to Honduras, and in Berta’s honor, the Cáceres family, movement leaders and allies of COPINH, the organization she founded, marched yesterday in Washington, D.C., from the World Bank to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.

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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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