Shortcut Navigation:

AFL-CIO Now

Showing blog posts by Tula Connell

About Tula Connell

I got my first union card while I worked my way through college as a banquet bartender for the Pfister Hotel in Milwaukee (we were represented by a hotel and restaurant local union—the names of the national unions were different then than they are now). With a background in journalism—covering bull roping in Texas and school boards in Virginia—I started working in the labor movement in 1991. Beginning as a writer for SEIU (and OPEIU member), I now blog under the title of AFL-CIO managing editor.

Working Women Empowered: Building Strength Through Unions

Photo courtesy of the AFL-CIO's Solidarity Center.

Women make up more than 40.5% of the workforce worldwide, according to the most recent data by the International Labor Organization. But their labor has not resulted in a similar level in financial well-being.  

 
 

Far from it.

Read more and comment »

Global Unions Urge Release of Imprisoned Russian Trade Unionist

Valentin Urusov was detained prior to the start of a rally he was organizing. Photo: CSID

Trade unionist Valentin Urusov is proof that in Russia it’s still possible to be imprisoned in the 21st century equivalent of the gulag for standing up for worker rights on the job. An electrical fitter at an ore-processing mill owned by the diamond mining company Alrosa, Urusov has spent more than four years of a six-year term in a penal colony in Yakutia in far northern Russia.

Read more and comment »

Bangladesh: Seven Women Dead in a Preventable Factory Fire

When Bangladesh garment workers seek to form unions, they often have been physically threatened or assaulted. Photo: Derek Blackadder

Seven young women, at least two of them teenagers, died over the weekend in a Bangladesh garment factory fire—the 28th fire incident to frighten, injure or kill Bangladeshi garment workers since a deadly blaze at the Tazreen Fashion factory killed at least 112 workers in late November, according to the AFL-CIO's Solidarity Center staff in Bangladesh. At least 491 garment workers have been injured on the job since the Tazreen blaze, according to information compiled by the Solidarity Center. The Solidarity Center's mission is to help build a global labor movement by strengthening the economic and political power of workers around the world through effective, independent and democratic unions.

Bangladesh: Seven Women Dead in a Preventable Factory Fire originally appeared on the Solidarity Center's blog. 

Read more and comment »

El Salvador Airline Servicer Fires 96 Workers for Forming a Union

Workers at AERODESPACHOS in El Salvador sought better job safety--and 96 were fired. Photo: CEAL

The promotional website for AERODESPACHOS in El Salvador features workers loading airplanes, transporting baggage and servicing engines. Yet while the airline ground services company wants to showcase its workforce, it is unwilling to provide safe working conditions and decent wages, its employees say. And when the ground servicing crew sought to address safety and health issues by forming a union, AERODESPACHOS fired 96 employees—nearly its entire staff—to reduce the number of workers seeking to join a union and so legally disqualify their efforts.

Tell the El Salvadoran government to end its contract with AERODESPACHOS and work to reinstate the employees.

Read more and comment »

Three Years After Haiti Earthquake, Workers Still Need Decent Jobs

Recipients of donation-funded tuition take part in a ceremony at AUMOHD, a Solidarity Center partner. Congress of Haitian Workers photo

Three years after the disastrous earthquake struck Haiti, workers and their families continue to struggle as the cost of living keeps rising while wages—for those who have jobs—remain the same. Informal discussions by the AFL-CIO Solidarity Center staff with Haitian export-processing workers this month indicate that in the past year, the cost of food and education has increased between 20% and 25%, while rent and transportation have risen between 15% and 20%.

Read more and comment »

ILO: 52 Million in Domestic Work Worldwide

ILO photo

This is a cross-post from the AFL-CIO Solidarity Center’s Tula Connell.

Some 52 million people older than 15—primarily women—labor as domestic workers around the world, according to a report released today by the International Labor Organization (ILO). Of those, 83 percent are women. The vast number of domestic workers, 21.4 million, are in Asia and the Pacific region, with 19.6 million in Latin America, 5.2 million in Africa and 2.1 million in the Middle East.

Read more and comment »

Human Rights Day 2012: Marking Worker Rights Worldwide

Yessica Hoyos Morales. Photo by Tula Connell.

This is an excerpt of Human Rights Day 2012: Marking Worker Rights Worldwide from the AFL-CIO's Solidarity Center. 

Nearly 3,000 trade union leaders have been murdered in Colombia over the past 20 years and the killing continues, with at least 35 unionists murdered so far this year. Yet behind each statistic is an individual, says Colombian lawyer and human rights activist, Yessica Hoyos Morales. Someone much like her father, Jorge Darío Hoyos Franco, a Colombian labor leader, who was assassinated in 2001 by two hired hit men.

Read more and comment »

Interview: Labor, Business Must Partner for Ethical Investment in Burma

FTUB General Secretary Maung Maung when he returned to Burma in September. Photo: FTUB.

This is an excerpt of the AFL-CIO Solidarity Center's Interview: Labor, Business Must Partner for Ethical Investment in Burma

Political transformation is happening fast in Burma, but social and cultural change are just beginning—putting the country at a key tipping point for how it ultimately will be structured, says Pyi Thit Nyunt Wai, general secretary of the Federation of Trade Unions-Burma (FTUB). 

 
 

“We’re starting at ground zero. The country is like dough that’s being kneaded. We must decide what shape it has to be,” he says.

Read more and comment »

Human Trafficking Thrives Under Worker Exploitation

Photo: Thomas Swain

This is an excerpt of the AFL-CIO Solidarity Center's Human Trafficking Thrives Under Worker Exploitation

Human trafficking thrives in an environment of worker exploitation and engenders forced labor, debt bondage and other egregious labor abuse. The most effective way to address this scourge, says Neha Misra, Solidarity Center senior specialist on migration and human trafficking, is by empowering workers to have a voice in their workplace and supporting their right to organize and join unions.  

Read more and comment »

Nicaragua the Third Nation to Adopt Domestic Work Standard

Nicaragua the Third Nation to Adopt Domestic Work Standard

This is a cross-post from the AFL-CIO Solidarity Center, by Tula Connell.

Nicaragua this week became the third country to ratify the International Labor Organization (ILO) convention on domestic workers. An ILO “convention” sets international labor standards, and the “Decent Work for Domestic Workers” convention addresses issues such as working conditions, wages, benefits and child labor while requiring nations to take measures making decent work a reality for domestic workers.

Read more and comment »

Online Community

Connect With Us

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • YouTube
  • Flickr

Get Email from AFL-CIO

Are you a union member?

Facebook Favorites

Blogs

Join Us Online