A First of Its Kind: Kyrgyz Migrant Workers’ Union

  • November 4, 2019
  • Jeffrey C. Wheeler

Since the start of 2019, more than 2,000 migrant workers from Kyrgyzstan have joined together to protect their rights abroad through the new Migrant Workers’ Union. On October 17, more than 100 union delegates came together in the town of Isfana, Kyrgyzstan, for the union’s founding congress. The congress marks a crucial step as the… [READ MORE]

Landmark Agreement for Kenya’s Informal Workers

Three trade unions representing Kenya’s formal-sector workers in food, health, education and metals signed memoranda of understanding (MOUs) with informal worker associations in their respective sectors yesterday. The agreements formalize efforts by affiliates of the Central Organization of Trade Unions-Kenya (COTU-K) to organize workers in Kenya’s outsized and growing informal sector and make union representation… [READ MORE]

Nigerian Workers Threaten Strike: ‘We Have Been Swindled’

The Nigeria Labor Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC) and Joint National Public Service Negotiating Council (JNPSNC) are threatening to launch a nationwide strike October 16 unless the government implements a minimum wage adjustment for all public sector workers as mandated by a new minimum wage law signed by President Muhammadu Buhari more than five months… [READ MORE]

Zimbabwe: Abductions Targeting Worker Rights Defenders

Doctors in Harare are protesting the abduction and disappearance of the acting president of the Zimbabwean Hospital Doctors Association (ZHDA), Peter Magombeyi. His disappearance is part of a pattern of violence against civil society defenders in the country, according to the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) and other rights groups. More than 50 trade union… [READ MORE]

Bangladesh Garment Workers Raise New Fire Alarm

A devastating fire in Dhaka’s Jhilpar slum earlier this month highlights the deplorable living conditions suffered by low-wage workers producing clothing for the global marketplace in Bangladesh’s highly profitable garment sector. The August 16 fire destroyed thousands of tin shacks and left an estimated 15,000 families homeless. This week, Solidarity Center partners Akota Garments Workers… [READ MORE]

Liberian Rubber Workers Face Job Cuts, Rights Reversals

After more than 10 years of partnership with agricultural workers on the Firestone Liberia rubber plantation in Harbel, the company is increasingly backtracking, including the unilateral firing of 13 percent of its workforce, says the Agriculture Agro-Processing and Industrial Workers Union of Liberia (AAIWUL). As the country’s largest employer—and therefore its employment-standards trendsetter—the union says… [READ MORE]

New Domestic Worker Organization in Ukraine

In Ukraine, domestic workers formed the country’s first organization for domestic workers, including childcare workers, this week. The organization’s formation is part of a growing global movement to assert the rights of this vast, mostly hidden and  primarily female workforce, as laid out in International Labor Organization (ILO) Convention 189, Decent Work for Domestic Workers. The… [READ MORE]

May Day 2019: Standing up for Worker Rights across the Globe

From Haiti to Ukraine, in Kenya, Nepal and Palestine, hundreds of thousands of workers and their families celebrated International Workers Day last week, honoring the dignity of work and the accomplishments of the labor movement in defending human rights, job stability, fair wages and safe workplaces. Together, workers and their unions are demonstrating their commitment… [READ MORE]

The High Cost of Low Wages in Haiti: New Report

Haitian garment workers face increasing difficulty in covering basic expenditures as prices soar while wages hover far below the cost of living, according to a new Solidarity Center report. The High Cost of Low Wages in Haiti (2019), a new Solidarity Center survey tracking living expenses for garment workers from September 2018 through March 2019,… [READ MORE]