Africa

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]

Millions of Working Africans Heard in U.S.-Africa Summit

The U.S.-Africa Summit in Washington, D.C., last week stood apart from similar trade and investment meetings held by China or by the European Union because African union leaders, representing millions of working people, made their voices heard, said Imani Countess, Solidarity Center regional program director for Africa. “Any U.S. conversation discussing economic development, trade and… [READ MORE]

African Union Leader: Africa Rising only for the 1 Percent

“Africa rising” was the catchphrase buzzing around Washington, D.C., last week, as African heads of state met for a three-day summit with U.S. government and private business. But Joel Odigie, coordinator of human and trade union rights for the International Trade Union Confederation-Africa, says working people are not benefiting from the continent’s economic growth. “In… [READ MORE]

Decent Work Means Employment and Rights on the Job

During this week’s U.S.-Africa Summit with heads of state in Washington, D.C., more than 40 African trade union leaders took part in parallel meetings to call on U.S. and African leaders to adopt a decent work agenda for trade and economic growth. In interview with RadioLabour, Kwasi Adu-Amankwah, general-secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation-Africa,… [READ MORE]

Mugalla: Trade Agreements Must Ensure Worker Rights

Meeting in Washington, D.C., this week, 40 African trade union leaders highlighted creation of good jobs, social protections and freedom to form unions as essential for Africa’s development. One way to do so is to make the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) work for working people. AGOA must have strong labor clauses “to ensure… [READ MORE]

Decent Work High on Agenda for Africa Union Leaders’ U.S. Meeting

Nearly 40 trade union leaders from Africa are meeting in Washington, D.C., over coming days for a series of events to highlight the concerns and needs of working people throughout sub-Saharan Africa. The meetings parallel the August 4-6 White House Summit for African heads of state, with union leaders seeking to influence public debate and hold… [READ MORE]

African Trade Unions and Africa’s Future: Strategic Choices

The rapid economic growth of many African countries is not translating into good jobs or worker rights, especially for women, and worker organizations, governments and business must be more proactive in expanding employment and improving wages and social protections, according to a new Solidarity Center report. “African Trade Unions and Africa’s Future: Strategic Choices in a… [READ MORE]