Solidarity Center
our mission
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.

Solidarity Center 2013 Annual Report
In 2013-2014, the Solidarity Center worked with allies in more than 60 countries to support workers through organizing, bargaining, advocating and building a collective voice. Find out more in the Solidarity Center 2013 Annual Report.

Solidarity Center Call for Proposals
Bangladesh Worker Rights Defense Fund

Bangladeshi union organizers are in peril and need your help. Please donate now to support them as they reach out to garment workers in unsafe factories. Find out more.

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Donate Now! West Africa Ebola Emergency Fund

Workers in West Africa are at high risk of contracting the deadly Ebola virus because many come in daily contact with the public in their jobs as nurses, market vendors or domestic employees. Women workers are especially vulnerable, as they are caregivers. Many workers and their families are suffering from the illness—or living in danger zones.

Ebola could strike as many as 1.4 million people in the next few months, according to U.S. health officials.

Your donation can help slow the spread of Ebola and save lives. 

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Your tax-deductible contribution to the West Africa Ebola Emergency Fund will assist Solidarity Center union allies in Liberia and Sierra Leone in providing workers with prevention education, material support and financial assistance. (Read more)

Unions: World Bank Must Draft Stronger Worker Safeguards

October 31, 2014—Workers across Asia are taking to the streets this fall with protests against proposed World Bank policies that fall short of ensuring fundamental worker rights, like freedom of association and collective bargaining.

In July, the World Bank released drafts of its revised Environmental and Social Safeguard Policies, a set of guidelines aimed to ensure that World Bank-funded projects do not harm communities or the environment.

The proposed safeguards for the first time would include a section on labor. But unlike international finance institutions such as the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the World Bank would not require borrowers to adhere to International Labor Organization (ILO) core labor standards. Further, labor protections would extend only to workers employed directly by borrowers and exclude all employees of contractors or sub-contractors, who generally account for the vast majority of workers on World Bank-funded projects.

Morocco Workers Wage One-Day General Strike

October 31, 2014—Thousands of workers in Morocco’s three trade union federations waged a general strike Wednesday to protest the government’s refusal to discuss fundamental worker issues such as working conditions, pensions and other benefits.
Public- and quasi-public-sector workers in administrative, manufacturing, commerce and agriculture, along with private-sector employees, took to the streets after many attempts to engage the government in collective bargaining.

Atento Workers in Mexico Fight for a Fair Union Vote

October 29, 2014—This is a crosspost from the AFL-CIO blog.

Workers at the 6,000-employee call center company Atento Servicios in Mexico face daily challenges on the job. These mostly young workers make low wages, work long shifts, face high stress demands from callers, and are subjected to yelling, sexual harassment, and other abuses. They are treated like an expendable workforce and are hired and fired at a nearly 80 percent annual turnover rate.

Read the full story.

Iraq Union: ISIS Executes Municipal Workers in Tikrit

October 28, 2014—Falah Alwan, president of the Federation of Workers Councils and Unions in Iraq (FWCUI), issued a statement in recent days describing the abduction and death of public employees in Tikrit, Iraq. (Read Alwan's statement in Arabic.)

In the first week of August, ISIS (the so-called Islamic State) gangs in the city of Tikrit committed an outrageous crime against public sanitation workers in Tikrit. ISIS thugs abducted eight workers who had protested against the organization’s arbitrary policies towards them, leading them blindfolded to an unknown location. After a whole month of searching, their families found eight dead bodies totally decomposed and hidden in a well. They were not even able to identify their faces.

The municipal sanitation workers started their confrontation with ISIS when they refused to work because they had not been paid for two months.

Court Orders Dominican Republic to Recognize Citizenship

October 23, 2014—The Inter-American Court for Human Rights ordered the Dominican Republic to reform all national laws blocking the recognition of citizenship for children of undocumented parents born in the country.

The decision, dated August 28, 2014, was made public on October 22, 2014, according to a story today in El Dia, a national newspaper in the Dominican Republic. The sentence orders the country to adopt the necessary measures to ensure no laws or rules deny Dominican nationality to children born in the country to undocumented parents who migrated there. 

The decision comes in a case in which 27 people were deported, five of them Haitian children residing in the Dominican Republic and 22 of whom were found to be Dominicans.

Your Donations to Ebola Fund Reach Thousands of Workers

October 23, 2014—Union members across Liberia have taken the lead in Ebola education and prevention among workers and their families, holding awareness trainings for thousands of workers and supplying them with hand-washing buckets and sanitization cleansers donated in part through the Solidarity Center West Africa Ebola Fund. (If you have not yet donated, please take a moment to donate now.)

At the Firestone Natural Rubber Plantation in Margibi County, where more than 11,000 full-time and precarious workers labor, and where 75,000 people live in 125 Firestone camps and in nearby communities, the Firestone Agricultural Workers Union (FAWUL) leaders and shop-stewards have so far reached 1,337 people in eight camps with protective equipment and information. FAWUL is a longtime Solidarity Center ally.

South Africa LGBTI Dialogue Raises Awareness among Unions

October 22, 2014—In Limpopo, a landlocked rural area in South Africa’s northernmost province, agriculture and mining are the primary industries, nearly 75 percent of residents fall below the country’s poverty line and many cling to long-held cultural and religious biases. In this difficult environment, workers who identify as LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex) face frequent discrimination at the workplace, even though it is prohibited under the South African Constitution.

“Discrimination is bad—employers want us to dress a certain way, they want us to pretend to be what we are not,” said one young lesbian member of the Limpopo LGBTI group, Proudly Out. “I am seen as a demon.”

New Index Rates Quality, Quantity of Jobs Worldwide

October 20, 2014—A new data-driven online index launched by JustJobs Network, a nonpartisan global policy and research institute, highlights the need for sustainable employment and offers policymakers and other decision-makers worldwide a tool to help generate more and better jobs worldwide.

Created in partnership with Fafo, an independent and multidisciplinary research foundation, the JustJobs Index offers the first-ever index to measure both quantity and quality of jobs. The site includes two indexes with country-by-country data trends between 2000 and 2013.

U.S. Delegation to Honduras: ‘Overwhelmed’ by Rights Violations

October 17, 2014—In a recent Solidarity Center delegation to Honduras, Metropolitan Washington, D.C., Labor Council President Josyln Williams, a Solidarity Center Executive Board member, and Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.), the leading Democratic member of the House Education and the Workforce Committee, examined firsthand how union and human rights activists are struggling to defend the rights of working Hondurans and ensure the basic livelihoods and survival of Honduran families.

The Solidarity Center delegation intersected with a parallel delegation of AFL-CIO leaders, including AFL-CIO Executive Vice President Tefere Gebre, a Solidarity Center board member, and Larry Cohen, Communications Workers of America president. Both groups met with Solidarity Center partner unions and numerous worker and human rights activists.

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