Freedom to Form Unions

6 Years after Rana Plaza: Bangladesh Set to Backslide

  • April 17, 2019
  • Istiak Ahmed Inam

On a recent Friday, the only day off for Bangladesh garment workers—if they get a day off—I went to visit workers at their homes to better understand how the people who stitch our clothes live their lives. Walking through the puzzling narrow alleys, I entered a tin shed-like building. A corridor tore through the center… [READ MORE]

Ethiopia: Inclusive Labor Movement for Democratic Change

The democratization process that began after Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed took office in Ethiopia one year ago will run aground unless its citizens become increasingly rooted in inclusive civil society institutions, like trade unions, that are capable of overcoming deeply entrenched ethnic, cultural and geographic divisions, said Confederation of Ethiopian Trade Unions (CETU) President Kassahun… [READ MORE]

Cornell Recognizes Solidarity Center Leader

The global crackdown on human rights, especially worker rights, coupled with rising inequality are disproportionately affecting marginalized populations around the world. At the same time, the rules are skewed to promote profit, deregulation and the expansion of corporate power over people. The answer, said Solidarity Center Executive Director Shawna Bader-Blau, is a global, social-justice labor… [READ MORE]

Sri Lanka Workers Wage Hunger Strike for Justice at Work

Some 400 workers at a factory in Sri Lanka have been on strike for more than two months, and two workers are waging a hunger strike to protest the firing of five union leaders. Workers say women have been subject to sexual abuse and other forms of gender-based violence at work, yet management is protecting… [READ MORE]

Brazil Unions Challenge Attacks on Worker, Human Rights

Following the deadly mining dam collapse in January that buried alive 186 workers and residents of the town of Brumadinho, Brazil, and concurrent legislative attacks on worker rights, unions representing members across Brazil are requesting the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) investigate and address both issues. The Vale-owned dam, which sat above Brumadinho, was… [READ MORE]

Thailand Migrant Rights Leader Wins Human Rights Award

Suthasinee Kaewleklai, coordinator for Migrant Workers Rights Network (MWRN) in Thailand, recently was honored for her work by the National Human Rights Commission of Thailand (NHRCT). “Migrant workers are among the most vulnerable and abused workers in every country,” says Kaewleklai. “Worker rights are human rights, and migrant workers are entitled to fundamental rights without… [READ MORE]

Bangladesh Workers Targeted with Gender-Based Violence

Even as 11,000 Bangladesh garment workers were fired in the wake of strikes they waged in December and January to protest low wages, many seeking to form unions or take collective action also have been physically threatened, attacked and arrested on trumped-up charges. And union leaders say these employer-directed assaults often take the form of… [READ MORE]

ITUC Africa Director Forcibly Detained in Zimbabwe

Kwasi Adu Amankwah, general secretary of the African Regional Organization of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC-Africa), was forcibly taken from his hotel at 2 a.m. today in Harare, Zimbabwe, where he had just arrived. Amankwah was set to meet with leaders of the Zimbabwe Trade Union Confederation (ZCTU) when state security agents took him… [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]

Bangladesh Garment Employers Retailate Against Workers

Tens of thousands of Bangladesh garment workers waged weeks-long strikes in December and January to protest low wages and unequal pay increases—and now workers say factory employers are using the walkouts to further repress their efforts to form unions and collectively bargain better wages and working conditions. More than 11,000 garment workers have lost their… [READ MORE]