Date: Tuesday, May 24, 2022
Time: 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., EDT
Place: Virtual. Registration required. (NEW registration link)
Please join the Solidarity Center for a discussion of a new report on collective bargaining agreements as tools for addressing poor working conditions in global supply chains.
Dr. Mark Anner, report author, director of the Center for Global Workers’ Rights and professor of labor and employment relations at Pennsylvania State University; Solidarity Center Executive Director Shawna Bader-Blau; senior labor leaders from Honduras Evangelina Argueta, Joel Lopez and Maria Elena Sabillon, as well as Worker Rights Consortium Field Director of the Americas Tara Mathur will share new insights on the impact of collective bargaining.
The report, “Bargaining for Decent Work and Beyond: Transforming Work and Lives through Collective Bargaining Agreements in the Honduran Maquila Sector” was commissioned by the Solidarity Center and draws its findings from original research in Honduras, principally the garment industry. Findings include that:
- Workers covered by collective bargaining agreements have more access to decent work, fair wages and safe working conditions, reducing economic coercion and other factors that compel migration.
- Collective bargaining agreements can address gender-based violence and harassment in the world of work.
- Unions have been critically effective in the promotion of health and public safety during the COVID-19 pandemic.
For more information, contact event organizer Tom Egan, [email protected].
Mark Anner, Pennsylvania State University Center for Global Workers’ Rights (CGWR) Director, and Labor and Employment Relations and Political Science Associate Professor
Mark Anner, whose field research has taken him to Bangladesh, Brazil, El Salvador, Honduras and Vietnam, has written about international labor solidarity, labor law reform in Latin America, strikes in Vietnam and corporate social responsibility in the global apparel industry. He is currently examining how pricing and other sourcing dynamics in global supply chains affect working conditions and worker rights. Anner also directs Penn State’s labor and global workers’ rights master’s degree program, which is a part of the Global Labor University network. He holds a doctorate in government from Cornell University and a master’s degree in Latin American studies from Stanford University.
Evangelina Argueta, General Workers Central (CGT, Honduras) Representative, and Maquila Organizing Project Coordinator
Evangelina Argueta—who, at age 16, helped found a union at the factory where she had worked—negotiated landmark agreements with apparel brands Fruit of the Loom and Nike, in 2009 and 2010. Leading the CGT garment worker organizing program, she helped organize 27 unions representing nearly 30,000 garment workers, and now serves on bi- and tripartite commissions setting Honduras garment worker wages and conditions. As current coordinator of the Central American Regional Coordinating Body of Apparel and Textile Unions, Argueta serves as a role model for working women and provides mentorship and support for women taking on leadership positions in their unions.
Joel López, Independent Federation of Workers of Honduras (FITH) General Secretary
In addition to leading FITH, López serves on the political commission of the Central American Coordinating Body of Maquila and Textile Unions, and helps lead the Network of Garment Worker Unions of Honduras. López holds a bachelor’s degree in legal and social sciences with a specialization in labor law.
Tara Mathur, Worker Rights Consortium (WRC) Field Director for the Americas
Tara Mathur, who has worked with the WRC for more than 16 years, led a field investigation on freedom of association violations at Honduras Fruit of the Loom factories that resulted in the CGT union negotiating and signing the “Washington Agreement” with the company. Mathur leads the WRC’s work in Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean to document, report on and engage with buyers on remedying worker rights violations at garment factories.
María Elena Sabillón, Solidarity Center Senior Coordinator, Honduras
A labor lawyer and fearless advocate for apparel sector workers and their organizations, Sabillón has worked for the Solidarity Center in Honduras since 2011. She currently serves as a worker-side representative on the Fruit of the Loom (FOTL) Supervisory Committee responsible for monitoring the framework agreement on freedom of association and collective bargaining in Honduran FOTL factories. Sabillón holds a law degree and master’s degree in criminal law and procedures from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Honduras (UNAH), and a doctorate in labor law, social security and human rights from Universidad de San Carlos (USAC) de Guatemala.
Moderated by Shawna Bader-Blau, Solidarity Center Executive Director