Middle East & North Africa

In the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), the Solidarity Center supports democratic unions and civil society organizations as they defend the human right to freedom of association, promote worker equality and raise awareness of the global economic context in which they labor.

The rich history of union activism in much of the MENA region goes back to the 1920s, when labor movements formed the working-class base of the struggle against colonial authorities. Today, global economic and political dynamics are eroding the universal human rights that democratic trade unions defend. Government efforts to liberalize come at a great cost: the erosion of worker rights and economic fairness.

While in some MENA countries, cumbersome laws facilitate government intervention in trade union operations, generally excluding or discriminating against certain workers based upon political ideology, gender, national status or job class. The Solidarity Center partners with many regional trade unions and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) to improve domestic labor law and its implementation, and to give workers a voice in shaping the economic and political development of their countries.

Regionwide programs strengthen workers’ political and economic rights by promoting rule of law, defending freedom of association, building capacity and internal union democracy, and encouraging trade union organizing. Dedicated to advancing workers’ human rights, each trade union and civil society organization in the MENA region grows stronger through alliances with one other and within the global labor movement. This strategic approach is central to the Solidarity Center’s work in MENA.

Media Contact

Kate Conradt
Communications Director
(+1) 202-974 -8369

 

Podcast: Minimum Wage Boost in Palestine Big First Step for Workers

Workers worldwide are demanding a boost in the minimum wage—a fair’s day pay for a fair day’s work. In Palestine, the Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions (PGFTU) spearheaded a successful campaign for a minimum wage boost, effective in January, that for the...

Tunisia: 3,800 Center Workers Win Nearly 14% Wage Boost

Some 3,800 call center workers at Teleperformance in Tunisia won a 13.8 percent wage increase and other key contract gains after staging actions and planning a strike in Tunis, the capital, and other cities. Represented by the Tunisia General Labor Union (UGTT), the...

Workers With Disabilities Speak Out in Tunisian Documentary

Nabil El-Moumni, a Tunisian disability rights advocate and blind receptionist at the local hospital of Mareth, Gabes, advocated--and won--important changes at his workplace to accommodate both workers and patients with disabilities. At his urging, the hospital...
Podcast: Jordan Agricultural Workers Win Rights@Work!

Podcast: Jordan Agricultural Workers Win Rights@Work!

Some of the most essential workers are also among the most overlooked—the women and men who plant, harvest and transport our fruits and vegetables, ensuring our tables are full every day, and especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Worldwide, they also are among...

Unions Protect Agricultural Workers’ Rights: Report

Unions Protect Agricultural Workers’ Rights: Report

Where unions establish collective bargaining, they initiate the strongest mechanism for protecting agricultural workers’ rights, health and dignity according to a new report prepared for the Solidarity Center by researchers at Penn State’s Center for Global Workers’...

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