From the Arab uprisings to the international recognition of the rights of domestic workers, 2011 was a turning point for millions of workers around the globe. The AFL-CIO's Solidarity Center, whose mission is to support workers in building independent trade unions around the world, partnered with workers and their unions as they organized for better working conditions, greater social protections, more fair labor laws and increased democracy and equity in their countries.
In its just-released 2011 Annual Report, the Solidarity Center shows how its staff in Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East and the Americas partnered with workers and their unions organizing for better working conditions and for the fundamental rights denied to them.
Sessi Agnes Funmi has the simple goal of awakening the “sleeping giant.” That’s how her Nigerian union has been tagged, she said. And it’s starting to work.
Funmi is the head of the Lagos State University Branch of the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities. The union has about 8,040 members, who are the non-teaching professional university staff. The members include nurses, physicians, administrators and senior housekeepers and security officers.
AFT President Randi Weingarten urged President Obama to “help marshal the humanitarian aid needed to halt the advance of the apocalyptic ‘children’s famine’ spreading through Somalia and neighboring nations in the Horn of Africa.”