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Global Union Movement: Making Equality for Women a Reality

Global Union Movement: Making Equality for Women a Reality

As International Women’s Day approaches, the global labor movement is mobilizing to put teeth into the celebration’s 2014 theme, “Equality for women is progress for all.” The AFL-CIO's Solidarity Center allies around the world also are getting set to highlight the struggles of working women with actions that include rallies by banana workers who are members of the union SITRABI in Guatemala and a conference honoring women workers from Jordan and Palestine. (Follow Women’s Day actions on Twitter with the hashtag #IWD2014.)

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The TPP Is Dumping on Democracy

Photo by Cailie_Frampton/Flickr

On Aug. 22, the government of Brunei will kick off the 19th round of negotiations of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP), a massive trade and investment pact among 12 Asia-Pacific countries, including all of North America, Australia, Malaysia and Vietnam. The latest country to accede is Japan.

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Fiji: Sugar Mills Workers Are Still Under Pressure by the Regime

Photo courtesy of ITUC

The state-owned Fiji Sugar Corp. (FSC) continues to refuse to negotiate with workers over wages and working conditions—the last wage increase being more than seven years ago. Despite FSC management threats, and the presence of the police and military during the strike vote, workers voted overwhelmingly to authorize a strike.

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From Here to Bangladesh, Workers Memorial Day Spotlights Need for Strong Job Safety Laws

From Here to Bangladesh, Workers Memorial Day Spotlights Need for Strong Job Safety Laws

Sunday, April 28, marks Workers Memorial Day. In prayer services, vigils and other ceremonies around the nation, union members, workplace safety activists and community, faith and other allies will honor and remember workers killed and injured on the job, from the 15—including 12 first responders—killed in the recent West, Texas, fertilizer plant explosion to the construction worker, store clerk and others who die on the job daily, but who we hear little about.

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Death Trap Plants Win ‘Safe’ Certifications, New AFL-CIO Report Reveals

Death Trap Plants Win ‘Safe’ Certifications, New AFL-CIO Report Reveals

Would you trust that your food is clean and uncontaminated, the plane you’re flying in airworthy or your workplace safe, if those were certified by companies counting on the profits they’ll make from your purchases, travel and labor? Of course not.

But that’s the dilemma millions of workers around the world face—often with deadly results—when it comes to their safety on the job, a new report from the AFL-CIO reveals:

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International Women's Day: ITUC Calls to End Violence Against Women

Photo courtesy of the ITUC

Ending violence against women is something everyone can agree on and shouldn't be controversial. Astonishingly, some Republicans in Congress held up the re-authorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) for more than a year because it has protections for Native Americans, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people and immigrant women without documents. President Obama just signed VAWA into law yesterday. This Senate-version of the bill was voted down by 138 Republicans in the House. Today, unions across the world are celebrating International Women's Day and raising awareness about violence against women and girls. 

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Global Union Movement Backs T-Mobile USA Workers’ Struggle

T-Mobile, the telecom company that last year closed seven call centers in the United States and shipped more than 3,300 jobs overseas, is running its remaining U.S. call center operations with abusive and intimidating tactics, T-Mobile workers at the company’s Charleston, S.C., call center told a workers' rights hearing (see video, below) last week.

Workers at a number of T-Mobile (owned by Deutsche Telekom) call centers are mobilizing to win a voice at work with the Communications Workers of America (CWA) and have been met with a fierce anti-union campaign.

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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%.

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United Nations Climate Talks: Expectations and Opportunities in Doha, Qatar

Bob Baugh directs the AFL-CIO Industrial Union Council and chairs its Energy Task Force. He is at the United Nations climate talks with labor delegates from around the world.

After two years of exceeding expectations, a United Nations group of unions is ready to continue creating plans for jobs and addressing climate change.

At the start of this year’s conference, which is known as the 2012 COP 18, nobody thought much would happen, especially because the meeting is being held in Qatar, which leads the world in per capital carbon emissions. Qatar also represents the bloc of oil nations that tied up previous negotiations over demands concerning the potential loss of oil revenue because of a climate agreement. The host country gets to run the meeting and set the agenda for these talks.

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AFL-CIO Unions Pledge Solidarity with Hyatt and PKC Workers in World Day for Decent Work Action

AFL-CIO Unions Pledge Solidarity with Hyatt and PKC Workers in World Day for Decent Work Action

Trade unions and the 175 million workers with the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) joined together Oct. 7 and called for decent jobs and respect for workers' rights on the annual World Day for Decent Work. This year, the AFL-CIO honored the day by standing in solidarity with Hyatt hotel workers and workers at the Mexican operations of the Finnish auto parts manufacturer PKC. 

Letters from AFL-CIO unions to workers mobilizing to win respect and a union voice on the job at Hyatt and PKC pledged their solidarity and support. AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka says the letters from the unions:

will tell the workers that we support their rights to organize and bargain—the only road forward for fairness and decent work...

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