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How the Government Can Lead on Supporting Businesses that Lift Working Standards

How the Government Can Lead on Supporting Businesses that Lift Working Standards

Through our tax dollars used in government purchasing, U.S. taxpayers are collectively the largest buyer of goods in services in the world. Being that big gives us power. And it gives us responsibility to hold the government accountable for how it spends those dollars. However, our government does very little to ensure that our tax dollars are spent responsibly, whether it’s through buying uniforms, electronics or food from businesses that support decent conditions in the thousands of workplaces in the United States and around the world. 

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New Trade Deal—TISA—Could Undermine Safety, Environmental, Workers’ Rights Regs

New Trade Deal—TISA—Could Undermine Safety, Environmental, Workers’ Rights Regs

The United States is currently negotiating a new International Services Agreement called the Trade in Services Agreement, or TISA. At the start of 2012, a number of World Trade Organization (WTO) member states, including the European Union, formed a group called the “Really Good Friends of Services” or RGF (and yes, that is really what they named themselves), with the purpose of drafting a trade agreement that would further liberalize trade and investment in services and expand regulatory disciplines on services sectors.

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Mexican Union Leader Napoleón Gómez Urrutia Wins Historic Legal Appeal

The federal judiciary of Mexico extended protection late last week to the embattled leader of the National Union of Mine, Metal, Steel and Allied Workers (Los Mineros), Napoleón Gómez Urrutia. In what will go down as a historic victory for the Mexican labor movement, the three judges of the circuit court unanimously declared the arrest warrants against Gómez unconstitutional, siding with Gómez’s legal defense team that the charges were without merit and politically motivated. This ruling will allow Gómez to return to Mexico in absolute freedom, as the Mexican government must now cancel extradition requests pending in Canada and with Interpol.

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As Summit Concludes, U.S. and African Unions Pledge Partnership, Push Pro-Worker Policies

As Summit Concludes, U.S. and African Unions Pledge Partnership, Push Pro-Worker Policies

Last week African trade union leaders from across the continent converged on Washington, D.C., to push U.S. and African leaders to focus on decent work, worker rights and job creation during the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit. They challenged the growing “Africa Rising" narrative, which mainly focuses on macro-level economic growth, trade opportunities and growing consumer markets for international corporations, and sought to refocus the debate on policy changes that would improve the lives of working families.

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Wall Street Speculators Push Argentina into Default, Endanger World Economy

Wall Street Speculators Push Argentina into Default, Endanger World Economy

Wall Street speculators are pushing Argentina into default, and the result could be devastating for the people of Argentina and destabilizing for the global economy.

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Students Protest at REI in Rockville, Md., Demanding It Stop Stocking North Face Products

Photo courtesy of USAS

On Saturday, 20 activists were arrested during a protest outside Recreational Equipment Inc. (REI) in Rockville, Maryland. Students and community leaders came together to demand REI stop stocking The North Face, whose parent company VF Corp. has been linked to serious ongoing labor violations in Bangladesh, including a deadly factory fire in 2010 that claimed at least 20 lives. Despite repeated incidents and issues, VF Corp. has refused to sign the Bangladesh Accord on Fire Safety (the Accord).

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Border Crisis Spurs AFL-CIO, Honduran Labor Movement to Call for Renewed Attention to Labor Rights Violations in Honduras

Border Crisis Spurs AFL-CIO, Honduran Labor Movement to Call for Renewed Attention to Labor Rights Violations in Honduras

As thousands of unaccompanied minors have arrived at the United States’ southern border in recent weeks, right-wing politicians and activists have used the refugee situation to push their anti-immigrant agendas, roll back protections for potential trafficking victims and stoke xenophobia among the general public by focusing on gang violence and disease.

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Peru Supersizes Its Backslider Legislation

Peru Supersizes Its Backslider Legislation

Poor Peru. It seems international investors might be losing interest in sending money its way. For those who argue that it is too hard to compete in international trade when you have decent rules on the books about inspecting workplaces, enforcing safety regs or protecting the environment, Peru has responded, “No problem! We’ll just push through a jumbo pack of regressive changes to undo good laws passed on promises of a more just, inclusive and sustainable society.” Sound shocking? Maybe. But also true. That’s exactly what the government of Peru did on July 11, rolling back both labor and environmental laws.

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Scholars Speak Out Against Troubling 'Corporate Courts' (ISDS) in TTIP

As another round of negotiations for the U.S.–E.U. trade deal (known as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, or TTIP) began, 121 leading academic experts on trade, investment law, European Union (EU) law, international law, human rights, constitutional law, global political economy and related fields issued a statement expressing deep concern about the investor-to-state dispute settlement (ISDS) provisions that negotiators plan to include in the deal. 

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Better Ways to Bring Democracy, Workers' Rights and Opportunity to Sub-Saharan Africa

Better Ways to Bring Democracy, Workers' Rights and Opportunity to Sub-Saharan Africa

The AFL-CIO and the Solidarity Center released a new policy brief Thursday on how to improve the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) and ensure that it delivers on its ambitious goals of supporting democratic governance, enhancing civil society, combating corruption and promoting the rule of law in Sub-Saharan Africa.

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