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The U.S. Must Address Mexico’s Labor Abuses in the TPP

workers at railcar factory in northern Mexico protesting against a protection union that negotiates against their interests

The United States government has taken a bold and positive step by publicly calling out Mexico’s dismal record of labor rights violations in international forums.

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Economics as Religion

General mass of Indignados in Athens Syntagma, Greece (30 June 2011).

Yesterday and today, the world watches, slacked jawed at the endgame of the Greek government’s debt negotiations. The stakes are higher than many Americans understand. So far, the U.S. financial press has viewed this as isolated to the Eurozone. That is in large part because, having endured the Great Recession, there is a view that things are only bad if they threaten the “too big to fail” American banks that can create systemic risks for the U.S. financial sector. But, that view of the world that only bank stability matters is what is so incredulous.

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'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.

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Six Years After Bagua Massacre, Trade Deals Continue to Threaten Worker Rights and the Environment

Six years ago this week, at least 32 people died in Bagua, Peru, during a protest against regulations the government put in place to comply with the recently inked United States-Peru Free Trade Agreement (FTA). Government forces opened fire on thousands of indigenous people who had blocked a highway, attempting to prevent extractive companies from taking advantage of new rules that made it easier to exploit the Amazon.

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Why We Need to Save FIFA from a Qatar 2022 Disaster

Why We Need to Save FIFA from a Qatar 2022 Disaster

FIFA President Sepp Blatter spent a weekend earlier this year with the emir of Qatar at the Al Bahr palace in Doha. It wasn’t his first visit to the emir’s palace. Since the 2022 World Cup was controversially awarded to Qatar in December 2010, numerous meetings have taken place, modern-day slavery has been exposed and reforms have been promised.

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Three Years After Colombia Deal, Workers Still Face Violence, Impunity and Unfair Working Conditions

Three years ago today, the U.S.–Colombia Free Trade Agreement entered into force. At the time, many of the same promises that are being thrown around in the Fast Track debate also were being discussed in terms of Colombia—that the trade agreement would promote better labor conditions and create good jobs.

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U.N. Report: Despite Progress, Women Still Face Pervasive Economic and Social Inequality

U.N. Report: Despite Progress, Women Still Face Pervasive Economic and Social Inequality

This week, the United Nations released its annual report on the Progress of the World’s Women. Called “Transforming Economies, Realizing Rights,” this year’s edition is focused on economic empowerment. As the report highlights, while there has been important progress regarding gender equality, entrenched economic and social inequality remains throughout the world.

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On Anniversary of the Disaster, Workers Demand Justice for Rana Plaza

Photo courtesy NYU Stern BHR on Flickr

On April 24, workers around the world are taking action to demand justice for Bangladeshi garment workers on the second anniversary of the Rana Plaza building collapse.

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Rana Plaza, 2 Years Later: Garment Workers Under Siege

Solidarity Center photo

April 24 is the two-year anniversary of the Rana Plaza collapse in Bangladesh that killed more than 1,130 garment workers. The AFL-CIO Solidarity Center’s Tula Connell reports that in the months after the 2013 tragedy, global outrage spurred much-needed changes, including the closing of dozens of unsafe factories, the adoption of the Bangladesh Accord on Fire and Building Safety and, most significantly, the formation and recognition of workers’ unions by the Bangladeshi government.

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Despite Labor Action Plan, Colombian Unionists Still Targeted for Death

Photo via Justice for Colombia

In the four years since the United States and Colombia signed the Labor Action Plan—a precursor  to the U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement—to address entrenched labor rights violations, Colombian workers have suffered more than 1,933 threats and acts of violence, including 105 assassinations of union activists and 1,337 death threats, according to the latest report  issued by Escuela Nacional Sindical (Colombia’s National Union School).

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