Middle East & North Africa

New Photo Essay: Gaza Agricultural Worker Etaf

While all work has value, not every job is a “good job.” Millions of workers around the world, especially those in the informal sector, cannot enjoy the benefits of their own hard work and often are denied safe working conditions, social protections like health insurance, professional security and union rights and freedom. The Solidarity Center… [READ MORE]

Teacher Protests for Decent Jobs: Key for All Moroccans

Recent massive teacher protests in Morocco demanding the government create permanent employment contracts is not an issue confined to the education sector—the extent to which decent jobs are available affects the future of the country, say leaders of the Democratic Labor Confederation (CDT). A recent government decree making it no longer possible for workers with… [READ MORE]

Why Amnesty Does Not Solve Gulf Labor, Kefala Issues

In Gulf Cooperation Council countries—Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates—amnesties for workers in irregular status are frequently declared, indicating that irregularity is a common and recurring phenomenon within the governing kefala, or work-sponsorship, system. However, even if implemented perfectly, amnesty is a temporary fix, and effective solutions to reduce the… [READ MORE]

Kuwait Union Opens Doors to All Migrant Workers

The Kuwait Trade Union Federation (KTUF) this week celebrated the relaunch of a migrant worker office within its headquarters to help address legal cases related to wage theft or other forms of exploitation brought by migrant workers, including domestic workers, in the country. Two-thirds of Kuwait’s 4.5 million residents are migrant workers, including approximately 660,000… [READ MORE]

Kenya, Kuwait Unions Sign Migrant Workers’ Agreement

The Central Organization of Trade Unions-Kenya (COTU-K) and the Kuwait Trade Union Federation (KTUF) signed a cooperative agreement last week in Kuwait City, formalizing the federations’ effort to jointly address issues affecting workers who migrate from Kenya to Kuwait for employment. “It is crucial to bring together unions from countries on both ends of the… [READ MORE]

Global Unions Urge Jordan to Withdraw Harsh Labor Laws

Jordan’s Senate is set to consider amendments to the country’s labor code that will restrict worker’ fundamental rights to freedom of association and collective bargaining and that fail to address Jordan’s longstanding limitations on worker rights, according to the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), which is joined by global unions in condemning the proposal and… [READ MORE]

Tunisia Public Workers Win Wage Increases

Nearly 700,000 public employees in Tunisia won a salary increase after waging mass actions for months, including a one-day general strike, in which they protested the erosion of their ability to support their families as their salaries failed to keep up with rising costs. The agreement, announced today between the Tunisian General Labor Union (UGTT)… [READ MORE]

Women Farm Workers in Morocco Gain Equal Voice at Work

Nearly half of the 4 million workers who labor in Morocco’s agricultural fields are women, yet they receive less pay and are granted fewer opportunities to improve their wages or working conditions than their male co-workers. But through their union, the Confédération Démocratique du Travail (CDT), women workers in Morocco’s fertile Meknes region are leveling… [READ MORE]

670,000 Public-Sector Workers Strike in Tunisia

Some 670,000 workers in Tunisia waged a nationwide one-day strike today to protest the government’s refusal to increase wages for civil servant workers. The strike follows months of intense negotiations between the Tunisian General Labor Union (UGTT) and the government, which refused to increase wages in 2019 because of its commitment to the International Monetary… [READ MORE]

Naziha Kdimi: Women Must Persist in Breaking Gender Molds

In Tunisia’s southern Gafsa region, Naziha Kdimi, a higher education teacher, struggled for years to gain acceptance among her male union peers. This year, Kdimi was elected assistant general secretary for a regional union body covering the area for the General Union of Tunisian Workers (UGTT)—the first woman to hold an executive position in the region…. [READ MORE]