Africa

Kenya’s Jane Njoki Helps Lead Future of Young Workers

As a young woman working in her company’s IT department, Jane Muthoni Njoki was frustrated by what she says were employer attempts to push her around because of her youth and sex. But rather than quit her job, which she contemplated, she ran for a leadership position in her union, determined to work with others to make… [READ MORE]

African Unions Champion Worker Rights at AGOA Forum

Meeting in Togo for the annual African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) forum this month, nearly 20 leaders from key African trade unions joined forces to advance the creation of good jobs and safe workplaces through fair trade. The forum “is a venue for workers to have their voices heard by officials and politicians all… [READ MORE]

Women Nearly Half of Labor Migrants in Africa

An estimated 998,000 African migrants entered South Africa between 2011 and 2015, says Mondli Hlatshwayo, coordinator with the Center for Education Rights and Transformation at the University of Johannesburg, where he researches community and trade union education, especially strengthening and building grassroots social justice formations. But although labor migration from Africa has historically been a… [READ MORE]

‘Create Decent Work at Home so Labor Migration Is a Choice’

The respect and dignity of labor migrants is under increasing threat, says Kassahun Follo, first vice president, International Trade Union Confederation-Africa, as migrant workers are demonized and denied basic rights, actions driven by exploitation, racism and xenophobia. Follo spoke this morning at the opening of the January 25–27 Solidarity Center conference, “Achieving Fair Migration: Roles… [READ MORE]

Zimbabwe Economy in Crisis, Few Jobs, Workers Unpaid

Zimbabwe’s economy is in deep decline, making it harder for average Zimbabweans to work and live, and leaving them less and less confident in their future, according to Solidarity Center Regional Program Director for Africa Imani Countess, in testimony yesterday on Capitol Hill. “Most workers earn salaries far below the poverty level, and many workers—even… [READ MORE]

Union Delegation Urges Swaziland to End Repression

An international delegation of union leaders traveling in Swaziland is calling on the government to guarantee the rights of workers to freely form unions and exercise freedom of speech and assembly, and says repressive legislation used by police against union activities still has not been addressed by Parliament, even as the government continues to imprison… [READ MORE]

Renew African Growth Act, but Protect Worker Rights

As the Senate takes up reauthorization of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), passed in 2000, the bill should include provisions strengthening worker rights, human rights and mandating resource transparency, says Cathy Feingold, director of the AFL-CIO International Department. Testifying before the Senate Subcommittee on Africa and Global Health Policy last week, Feingold said… [READ MORE]

Swaziland: Textile Workers Sickened from Dangerous Chemical

Workers continue to be sickened at a Swazi textile factory where dozens of workers required hospitalization earlier this month after the plant began using the dangerous chemical butyl acetate to clean clothing stains. The workers, who went to the hospital at their own expense, reported chest pains, severe headaches, vomiting and bleeding, and some collapsed…. [READ MORE]

‘The Key to Development in Africa Is Empowering Women’

Up to 80 percent of workers across Africa labor in the informal economy, many as street vendors, taxi drivers and domestic workers. With few legal rights, most informal-sector workers make low wages and have no health care or other social protections. Because women comprise the vast majority of workers in the informal economy, they are… [READ MORE]

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