Americas

Brazil Unions Challenge Attacks on Worker, Human Rights

Following the deadly mining dam collapse in January that buried alive 186 workers and residents of the town of Brumadinho, Brazil, and concurrent legislative attacks on worker rights, unions representing members across Brazil are requesting the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) investigate and address both issues. The Vale-owned dam, which sat above Brumadinho, was… [READ MORE]

Union Women Tackle Gender-Based Violence at Work

Women trade unionists in Indonesia and in Honduras and other Central American countries who are tackling gender-based violence at work often start by changing a culture of patriarchy within their own unions, according to speakers at a Solidarity Center-sponsored panel today in New York City. “Unions in the past only focused on economic issues—gender-based violence… [READ MORE]

Colombia Palm Workers Win Landmark Agreement

Some 750 palm workers at Colombia’s largest plantation yesterday signed a landmark agreement with their employer, Indupalma, culminating a years-long effort in which many workers risked their lives to achieve decent wages and safe working conditions. The workers formed a union and fought to force the company to sign a formalization accord and negotiate a… [READ MORE]

Two Union Leaders Targeted in Guatemala

Two union leaders in Guatemala were imprisoned January 17–28 for negotiating and signing a collective agreement between the union and the Ministry of Health authorities in 2013. Following a hearing, both union leaders were released on parole but placed under house arrest, pending a final decision. Luis Alpirez Guzmán, general secretary of the National Union of Health… [READ MORE]

Haiti Union Leader Receives Death Threats

The global labor community is condemning death threats made against Jean Bonald Golinsky Fatal, president of the Confédération des Travailleurs- euses des Secteurs Public et Privé (CTSP) in Haiti. The Confederation of Trade Unions of Workers of the Americas (CSA) and the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) are calling on the international community to put… [READ MORE]

Abelina Ramírez: ‘Through Our Unity, We Will Win’

When thousands of farmworkers from Mexico’s coastal state of Baja California waged a 12-week strike in 2015 to protest poverty wages—roughly $4 a day—and poor working conditions like lack of access to water, Abelina Ramírez saw her chance to ensure women’s concerns, such as sexual harassment in the fields, were addressed. “I decided to join… [READ MORE]

Union Leaders Mobilize on Gender-Based Violence at Work

Gertrude Mtsweni and Rose Omamo, trade union leaders from Africa, recently joined hundreds of workers who participated with government and employer representatives in high-level deliberations on a draft global standard addressing gender-based violence at work. Energized after long days of intense discussions during the International Labor Organization (ILO) conference in Geneva, the women are now… [READ MORE]

Solidarity Center Mourns the Loss of Victor Quesada

The Solidarity Center is mourning the loss of Victor Hugo Quesada Arce, Solidarity Center project coordinator in Costa Rica, who died July 16 after a battle with cancer. “Victor was always a dedicated, passionate and joyful person,” says Stephen Wishart, Solidarity Center director for Central America. “He helped give workers courage, armed them with knowledge,… [READ MORE]

Racial Equality Tops Domestic Workers Meeting in Brazil

Some 40 domestic workers from 17 countries across North and South America and the Caribbean shared organizing tactics, hammered out resolutions and participated in Solidarity Center training on gender-based violence at work at a recent conference in São Paulo, Brazil. The conference is one of a series of regional planning meetings domestic workers around the… [READ MORE]

3 Unionists Murdered in Guatemala, Honduras in Past Year

Two union activists were murdered in Guatemala and one in Honduras, while dozens of others were targets of violence—including threats of murder, kidnapping and stalking—over the past year, according to two reports released this week. In Guatemala, “where the unionization rate is less than 1 percent, intolerance and violence against workers highlights, precisely, the mechanisms… [READ MORE]