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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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On International Mandela Day, Lessons for U.S. and African Leaders

On International Mandela Day, Lessons for U.S. and African Leaders

Today marks Nelson Mandela International Day, a celebration of the great South African leader’s birth, life and legacy. It was launched in 2008 with a unanimous decision by the U.N. General Assembly. Mandela dedicated his life to fighting for equality, justice, democracy and the dignity of working people. He encouraged us all to act together to change the world for the better. And around the world today, people are committing to service projects in his honor.

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The World Trade Organization Strikes Again, Undermines U.S. Law and U.S. Workers!

WSLC photo

Once again, a World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute settlement panel has issued a decision that leaves American manufacturers—and those who work for them—behind. In two separate decisions just released (Case DS436, concerning carbon steel from India, and Case DS437, concerning solar panels and 16 other products from China), the WTO ruled that the United States had violated its WTO obligations in the manner that it applied countervailing duties on products from the two countries.

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U.S.-China Trade Deficit Is One More Reason We Need Trade Policies that Lift Up Working People

In case you missed it at the end of June (and who can blame you, really?) trade numbers between the United States and China were recently released for the month of April 2014, providing us with another month’s worth of reasons for why U.S. trade policy needs to change.

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'Don’t Sleep with the Sultan,' Urge Workers, Women and the LGBTQ Community

'Don’t Sleep with the Sultan,' Urge Workers, Women and the LGBTQ Community

Today, workers, women, and activists from the LGBTQ community protested outside the Embassy of Brunei in Washington, D.C., as part of an international day of action against the sultan of Brunei’s ongoing union-busting and human rights violations. Brunei is a tiny, oil-rich country in Southeast Asia, ruled by Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, who has used his role as absolute monarch to amass an estimated wealth of $20 billion and maintain strict control over society. Under the banner of “Don’t Sleep with the Sultan,” UNITE HERE Local 25 led a broad array of workers and activists in the demonstration, which drew attention to labor and human rights violations in both the United States and Brunei.

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What Do You Think About Trade? The WTO Wants to Hear from You

Image courtesy of the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO

The World Trade Organization (WTO) is conducting a “public forum”—a short poll with leading questions about what people think about trade and how it affects their lives.

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U.S. Trade Deals Limit Choices in Government Purchasing

Government purchasing, which is anything the government might buy from computers, iron, pipes and furniture to services like construction and janitorial contracts, should be used as a tool to promote job creation, wage growth and a cleaner environment for working people.  This is especially important given the threat of climate change and the staggering inequality in the U.S. economy.  But because today’s trade deals (from the World Trade Organization [WTO] to various Free Trade Agreements [FTAs]) restrict government choices about how to purchase goods and services, the opportunities to use government purchasing (also known as procurement) in this way are limited. 

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The International Labour Organization Adopts New Standards to Eradicate Forced Labor

The International Labour Organization (ILO) has adopted a new treaty, known as a forced labor protocol, to fight modern forms of forced labor and to protect and compensate victims.  The new treaty strengthens the outdated 1930 ILO convention on forced labor, and contains two sections that will bring the international community’s response to forced labor into the modern era with regulations and guidance on practices such as human trafficking, forced labor in the private sector and the exploitation of migrant workers.   

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On the Eve of the World Cup, Workers Defend the Right to Strike and Bargain Collectively

Wikimedia Creative Commons/Brazil

As Brazil prepares to take the global stage as host of the World Cup, media attention has focused on the last-minute preparations and the expenditures accompanying the event. Amid the focus on sports, São Paulo’s subway workers delivered an important message about the need for increasing wages as a cornerstone of the country’s commitment to social equality.

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U.S. Rated Alarmingly High in Global Survey of Worst Places for Workers’ Rights

U.S. Rated Alarmingly High in Global Survey of Worst Places for Workers’ Rights

The United States lags far behind other nations in protecting workers’ rights, according to a new survey from the International Trade Union Confederation. The rankings are based on 97 internationally recognized indicators and standards to assess where workers’ rights are best protected, in law and in practice.

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