Global Supply Chains

Cambodia, supply chains, garment worker, Solidarity Center, worker rights, human rights

Heng Rithy, a garment worker in Cambodia, says her factory has good working conditions and she can support her family because workers have a union. Credit: Solidarity Center/Shanleystudio

An estimated 450 million people work in global supply chains—in textiles, retail, fisheries, electronics, construction, tourism, transport and agriculture. Economic globalization has created benefits for consumers, business and suppliers, but the practice of sourcing goods and services from countries where wages are low and laws are lax often results in jobs that are insecure and informal, involving dangerous workplaces, forced overtime and even slavery.

The Solidarity Center works with unions, worker associations and other allies in countries throughout the global supply chain in countries such as Bangladesh, Honduras, Lesotho, Morocco and Uzbekistan to address poverty wages, dangerous and unsafe working conditions and limited rights on the job.

For instance in Lesotho, the Solidarity Center partnered with labor rights and women’s rights organizations to negotiate a worker-centered, precedent-setting program to comprehensively address the rampant gender-based violence and harassment denying thousands of women garment workers a safe and dignified workplace. The Solidarity Center is helping lead training in addressing and preventing sexual harassment and other forms of gender-based violence among 10,000 workers at five factories there.

Migrant workers comprise a large part of the global supply chain, traveling to countries such as Malaysia to work in factories and to Gulf countries as domestic workers. The Solidarity Center partners with unions such as the Central Organization of Trade Unions-Kenya and the Kuwait Trade Union Federation to advocate for policies and legislation that address the exploitation and abuse migrant workers face, and educate workers who plan to work abroad about labor laws and workplace rights in their origin and destination countries.

US-Haiti Trade Pact Renewal Must Address Worker Rights

As the U.S. Congress considers renewal of the Caribbean Basin Trade Partnership Act (CBPTA) for Haiti, labor rights provisions must be enforced for trade benefits to reach 57,000 Haiti garment workers, says Solidarity Center Americas Regional Program Director Lauren...

Garment Workers Need Our Assistance, Tunisia Labor Movement Tells Employers, Government

The Tunisian General Labor Union (UGTT) is calling on employers and the government to join with it in addressing the severe challenges textile workers are facing during the COVID-19 crisis and negotiate an action plan to guide the struggling garment sector. Some...

Haitian Workers March, Protest Garment Worker’s Death

Garment workers in Haiti are calling for action after Sandra René, a garment worker at the Palm Apparel factory, died due to pregnancy complications in early August. René was turned away from the hospital where she sought medical care because the factory had not paid...
Laid-off Bangladesh Garment Workers Rally, Win Wages, Bonus

Laid-off Bangladesh Garment Workers Rally, Win Wages, Bonus

After hundreds of laid-off garment workers took to the streets of Ashulia, Bangladesh, and rallied at the Dhaka Export Processing Zone in recent weeks, factory management and the Bangladesh Export Processing Zones Authority agreed to compensate them with one month’s...

The Benefits of Collective Bargaining for Women: A Case Study of Morocco

The Benefits of Collective Bargaining for Women: A Case Study of Morocco

This study by the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW) and Solidarity Center finds women workers in Morocco’s fertile Meknes region are making big gains in gender equality on the job through their union, the Confédération Démocratique du Travail (CDT)....

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