In Africa, the Solidarity Center strives to help build the labor movement and promote worker rights by organizing workers and strengthening their voice at the bargaining table; protecting their rights on the job; ending the scourge of child labor, forced labor, and human trafficking; and stopping the spread of HIV/AIDS through workplace policies.
In sharp contrast with its rich natural resources, Africa counts 32 of the 38 least developed countries. It is the only continent where poverty levels have increased despite higher growth rates. HIV/AIDS has ravaged the population, and those who survive are losing their jobs. Governments, multinational corporations, and international financial institutions are selling out worker rights in the name of globalization. To combat these multifaceted challenges, the Solidarity Center’s Africa programs focus on common themes and uniform campaigns while at the same time adapting to the needs of a diverse group of countries.
Find out how the Solidarity Center is teaming up with unions to fight HIV/AIDS in Africa and worldwide.
Survey Reveals Abusive Workplace Conditions for Swazi Textile Workers.
July 30, 2014—A recent survey by the Trade Union Congress of Swaziland (TUCOSWA) of more than 400 textile workers in Manzini, Swaziland, reveals that workers in the textile sector are subject to harsh and sometimes abusive conditions, many of the country’s labor laws are routinely violated by employers, and union activists are targeted by employers for punishment.
African Trade Unions and Africa’s Future: Strategic Choices
. July 15, 2014—The rapid economic growth of many African countries is not translating into good jobs or worker rights, especially for women, and worker organizations, governments and business must be more proactive in expanding employment and improving wages and social protections, according to a new Solidarity Center report.
Women-Led Coalition Empowers Women Across the Niger Delta.
July 15, 2014—Women Initiative for Transparency and Social Justice (WITSOJ), a coalition of union and community groups, formed in 2007, after a Solidarity Center workshop in Delta State and has since trained more than 5,000 women and young people.
Liberian Workers Seek to Close Wage Gap with Expats
. July 1, 2014—Contract negotiations between the United Workers Union of Liberia Local 4 and ArcelorMittal have stalled, with management refusing to agree to the wage increase the workers’ are seeking.
Kenya: Court Rules Domestic Workers Covered by Employment Law.
May 6, 2013—Employers in Kenya now must abide by the verbal contracts they make with domestic workers, following a landmark ruling by the nation’s high court that also effectively places domestic workers under Kenya’s employment law.
Kenya: Presidential Candidates Talk Jobs at First-Ever Forum.
February 22, 2013— In the largest gathering of presidential candidates organized by civil society in Kenya in the current election, five of eight presidential candidates took part this week in a forum sponsored by the labor movement.
Oretha Tarnue: Mobilizing, Empowering Liberian Domestic Workers.
March 6, 2014—Oretha Tarnue, vice president of the United Workers Union of Liberia (UWUL) and a former domestic worker, is spearheading a drive in her country to organize domestic workers who,like their counterparts elsewhere, are routinely exploited by their employers.
Kenya: A Commitment to Unionize Informal-Sector Workers.
January 29, 2013— In Kenya, where the informal sector accounts for 80 percent of employment and contributes 25 percent to the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP), union outreach is helping give these workers a voice on the job.
Regional Journalists Union Leadership Conference Opens in Nairobi.
May 25, 2012—A two-day regional conference focused on strengthening union leadership within the media industry in Eastern Africa opened in Nairobi, Kenya, yesterday with a clarion call to journalists in the region to overcome their apathy toward advocating for their worker rights.
South African Fights for a New Generation of Domestic Workers.
December 12, 2012—Gladys Mnyengeza has been a domestic worker in Cape Town, South Africa, for about 40 years—and knows full well the problems and rewards that come with a job traditionally undervalued and performed by workers at the margins of society.
South Africa Domestic Workers Hold First-Ever National Meeting.
December 7, 2012—Dozens of leaders of the South African Domestic Service and Allied Workers Union (SADSAWU) gathered recently in Cape Town in a first-ever national conference to plan organizing and advocacy goals.
Reaching Workers on the Job Key to HIV/AIDS Prevention.
November 30, 2012—Roseline Mosibudi Nkgapele, a member of the National Union of Metal Workers of South Africa (NUMSA), has made it her mission to educate workers about HIV/AIDS.
Liberian Union Signs Agreement with Mining Multinational
. September 12, 2012—On August 31, the United Workers Union of Liberia (UWUL) signed an historic collective bargaining agreement with the largest mining multinational in Liberia.
AIDS: Workplace Partnerships Have Impact
. July 24, 2012—Partners in the global south, particularly in southern Africa, have produced a body of successful workplace interventions and we should not forget the partnerships that work. Op-ed by Solidarity Center Regional Program Director for Africa, Imani Countess.
Liberia: Decent Work in Law and Practice Key to Worker Rights, Says Union Leader.
June 21, 2012—In Liberia, unions are working to ensure worker rights are preserved and protected in the country’s rubber industry and beyond.
Labor Delegation Meets with Union Federation in South Sudan.
May 11, 2012—A group of international labor representatives visited South Sudan last week to assess worker issues and trade union developments in Africa’s newest country and to identify areas of support and collaboration.