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

 

New Alliance Set to Bolster Palestinian Worker Rights

Workers in Palestine now have even more support for their efforts to achieve rights and respect at work: The National Alliance for Social Justice in Palestine, launched in Ramallah in recent days, seeks to craft Palestinian labor law in line with international labor...

Union Women Launch Global Petition to End Gender-Based Violence

Union women and Solidarity Center partners from the Middle East and North Africa spearheaded a petition calling for governments to ratify International Labor Organization Convention 190, the landmark global labor standard adopted in June 2019 to eliminate violence and...

French, Moroccan and Tunisian Unions Plan Call-Center Strike

Citing dangerous work conditions and inadequate wages, an imminent call-center strike was announced this week by French union Solidaires Unitaires et Démocratiques (SUD), with the Moroccan Labor Union (UMT) and Tunisian General Labor Union (UGTT). The strike will...
Panel: Women’s Work Is the Backbone of the Global Economy

Panel: Women’s Work Is the Backbone of the Global Economy

Women are undervalued, underpaid and the target of disparaging stereotypes and even violence—but by joining together in unions, they stand strong with a collective voice to change the workplace, society and government, women union leaders said today in a panel event....

Jordan Teachers ‘Will Not Back Down’ in Face of Assaults on Union

Jordan Teachers ‘Will Not Back Down’ in Face of Assaults on Union

Teachers in Jordan are “insisting on their legal rights to have an association” and will not give up after the government dissolved their union in July and imprisoned union activists, says Kefah Abu Farhan, a board member with the Jordan Teacher Association (JTA)....

Morocco Factory Workers Forced to Renounce Union or Lose Jobs

Morocco Factory Workers Forced to Renounce Union or Lose Jobs

Workers in Morocco are denouncing efforts by a Peugeot Citroen factory to force union leaders to resign from the Moroccan Labor Union (UMT) or lose their jobs. Already, one union leader has been fired, according to the union. Last week, factory management forced 11...

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