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)

Two Years after Fatal Tazreen Fire, Life Worse for Survivors

November 21, 2014—November 24 marks the two-year anniversary of the deadly fire at Tazreen Fashions Ltd. in Bangladesh that killed 112 garment workers. Since then, at least 30 garment workers have died in factory fires and 844 have been injured in 68 incidents, according to data collected by Solidarity Center staff in Dhaka, the capital. Many of the survivors and their families say they have received little or no compensation, and many survivors are unable to work again. 

“Things are getting much, much worse for me,” said Shahanaz, who sustained critical injuries, including loss of vision in her right eye, while fleeing the burning building. “With all of the pain I am in, I can no longer pray while standing.”

Cambodia Garment Workers Demand Living Wage
November 19, 2014—The Cambodian government announced this week it would raise the monthly minimum wage in the textile and apparel industry to $128, an amount workers say falls far short of the amount needed to support themselves and their families and is only $8 above the poverty line. Download the fact sheet.

The new minimum wage also is well below the government’s estimates of wages garment workers need. Cambodia has among the lowest minimum monthly wages in the industry. Garment-making is Cambodia’s largest industry, accounting for 80 percent of exports.

Iraqi Workers Rally over Months of Unpaid Wages

November 17, 2014—The Iraqi government’s offer of partial payment to workers in several industries who have not received salaries for months “is unjust” and should be amended to include all unpaid back pay, says the General Federation of Iraq Trade Unions (GFITU).

The Iraq Council of Ministers last week announced it would pay one month’s wages to workers at plants and factories affiliated with the Ministry of Industry. The companies, which are required to generate sufficient operating revenue to pay 40 percent of workers’ salaries, have repeatedly been unable to do so, and the Ministry of Industry has previously paid workers’ salaries when the companies run out of funds.

Jordanian Union Leader, Arrested for Union Action, Back at Work

November 17, 2014—Tayel Alkhamayseh, president of the Independent Union of Phosphates Workers in Jordan, returned to his job this month after worker and human rights organizations denounced his November 6 arrest and suspension, pressed for his reinstatement and decried his arrest as a move to prevent unionization at the plant.

The Jordanian Federation of Independent Trade Unions (JFITU) sent letters protesting his detention to the Ministry of Labor and company management. The National Center for Human Rights and Jordanian civil society organizations generated additional support for Alkhamayseh, who was reinstated after a meeting with management in which it was established that he had no intention of declaring a strike.

Uzbek Children, Teachers Forced to Labor in 2014 Cotton Harvest

November 14, 2014—Uzbekistan continued using forced labor, including children, for the country’s recent cotton harvest, with more teachers than ever compelled to toil in the fields this year, according to a report released today by the Uzbek-German Forum. In schools across the country this fall, 50 percent to 60 percent of all teachers were absent from classrooms at any given time, leaving schools severely understaffed and unable to conduct normal classes.

The report, a preliminary look at Uzbekistan’s state-sponsored labor system of cotton production this season, found that the government forced fewer children to work but replaced them with university students and public- and private-sector employees. 

Iraqi Oil Workers Push for More Jobs, Better Pay

November 7, 2014—Some 2,000 workers recently took part in a rally in Basra organized by the Southern Oil Workers Committee, after the government refused to negotiate over issues such as jobs for unemployed workers, skills training and higher pay for hazardous work.

In August 2013, the government excluded workers in the state-run oil sector from receiving wage and benefit increases granted to other public employees. Public-sector wage increases ranged from 5 percent to 114 percent.

Sign & Share Petition to End Child Labor

November 5, 2014—An estimated 5.5 million children labor in factories, brick kilns, farm fields and as domestic workers, exposed to dangerous and deadly working conditions and unable to attend school.

And 5.5 million is the number of signatures the nonprofit coalition End Child Slavery Week is seeking on a petition urging the United Nations (UN) to step up its focus on child slavery in the world body’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). The SDGs map the desired direction of member countries for the next 15 years.

Help the campaign reach its goal: Sign the petition now.

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.

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