Americas

El Salvador Embroidery Workers Defy Odds to Form Union

In isolated rural areas across El Salvador, thousands of women work from their homes hand-embroidering intricate patterns on pieces of cloth they later return completed to factories to be sewn into finished garments. To meet the factory’s production deadlines, the women typically work 16 hours a day, seven days a week, and those who do… [READ MORE]

2 Striking Mexico Mine Workers Killed

A group of armed civilians calling themselves the “Tonalapa Community Police,” attacked striking workers at the Media Luna gold mine in Mexico on November 18, killing two workers. The two men killed were brothers, Víctor and Marcelino Sahuanitla Peña. Workers at the Cocula, Guerrero, gold mine went on strike earlier this month after their employer recognized… [READ MORE]

Social Justice Unionism: Labor Can Make Change

“Informal workers are organizing and they will organize as long as there is injustice and oppression,” says Sue Schurman, distinguished professor of Labor Studies and Employment Relations at Rutgers University. Opening a Solidarity Center book launch and panel discussions on Informal Workers and Collective Action: A Global Perspective this morning, Schurman also cautioned that unless… [READ MORE]

Colombia Activists Honored at 20th Anniversary Event

Leonila Murillo, a decades-long leader in Buenaventura, Colombia, and Angel Miguel Conde Tapia, a Colombian palm oil worker and union vice president are among the extraordinary leaders and activists who will be honored for their dedication to improving the lives of workers and their communities during the Solidarity Center 20th Anniversary celebration in Washington, D.C.,… [READ MORE]

Honduran Unions to Be Honored at 20th Anniversary Event

In Honduras, union leaders are on their way to successfully negotiating eight collective bargaining agreements covering 21,000 garment workers who have joined unions in the past few years. Contracts negotiated so far include 23 percent wage increases, free transportation to and from work, free lunch, additional severance pay for workers recovering from ergonomic-related illnesses, and… [READ MORE]

Book Launch: Informal Workers and Collective Action

As the number of workers in the informal economy increase around the world, the result is that more and more workers are low paid, with few or no social benefits or job security. In the Dominican Republic, where many in the informal economy are Haitian migrants, the union movement successfully organized those who work in… [READ MORE]

Guatemala: Another Union Leader Murdered

Gunmen on a motorcycle assassinated another Guatemalan union leader on Friday, bringing to 87 the number of labor leaders murdered in the country since November 2004. Tomás Francisco Ochoa Salazar, disputes secretary for the Bremen Union (SITRABREMEN), was leaving the meat-processing plant where he worked in Guatemala City when he was shot. Andy Noel Godinez,… [READ MORE]

Nine-Year Struggle to Form Union ‘Worth It’

After a nine-year struggle to achieve union recognition and their first contract in the Dominican Republic, “it is undeniable that today we are stronger,” says Ramón Mosquea, secretary general of the union, SINTRALAYDO. “I have worked 12 years for this company [Frito Lay/PepsiCo], and I want to tell you how important it was for us… [READ MORE]

Cleaner’s Death Highlights Lack of Safety Protections

At a funeral service in Lima, Peru, dozens of street cleaners yesterday mourned the death of their colleague, Rosa Mamani Apaza, a street cleaner who was killed on the job August 29 by stray gunfire as bullets flew nearby during an apparent late morning robbery. Several other bystanders were injured. Mamani, 44, worked for more… [READ MORE]

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