A legacy of political instability, armed conflicts and flagrant human rights violations has impoverished workers in many Latin American and Caribbean countries. In Colombia, where year after year, the murder rate of trade unionists is the worst in the world, workers literally risk their lives to seek workplace fairness through trade unions. Trade unionists also are under attack in Central America and Mexico.
Trade, Violence and Migration: The Broken Promises to Honduran Workers
In October 2014, the delegation led by AFL-CIO Executive Vice President Tefere Gebre arrived in Honduras to meet with workers, labor, faith and community partners as well as government officials and learn about the impact of U.S. trade and immigration policies on Honduran workers and their families. The Northern Triangle as a whole—the section of the Central American isthmus that includes Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador—is challenged by widespread labor and human rights violations, crime, violence and corruption. Powerful gangs threaten, intimidate and kill families. The delegation decided to travel to Honduras because it shares many of the same problems of its neighboring countries, but it stands apart in its severity. Honduras is currently the murder capital of the world and has in past years been shaken by political instability, institutional corruption and repression. The children of Honduras and their families are fleeing their communities at a higher rate than in any other country in Central America—more than 18,000 unaccompanied Honduran children arrived in the United States in FY 2014. Read the full report.
This past weekend in Chicago, I attended the AFL-CIO Next Up Summit, which is a young workers conference. While there, I had the privilege of not only representing my union, the Machinists (IAM) and my Local Lodge 2323, but also of representing Canada as one of only seven Canadian delegates in attendance. More than 1,000 young workers from across the United States descended on the shores of Lake Michigan and came together in the Chicago Hilton’s Grand Ballroom to discuss the labor movement. We were a diverse group with different backgrounds: race, gender, sexual orientation and age, united in a common passion to change the world around us.
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