informal economy

Workers’ Equality Forum: Share Your Story!

Sam Oliver, a union shop steward at the Sime Darby Rubber and Oil plantation in Liberia, where workers live in company-provided housing, says “people lived in deplorable” conditions before joining the General Agriculture and Allied Workers Union of Liberia (GAAWUL). Today, says Oliver, a warehouse clerk on the plantation, “through the intervention of this union,… [READ MORE]

Zimbabwe Informal Economy Workers: Bullied, Threatened

In Binga, a small community 400 miles west of Harare, Zimbabwe’s capital, residents support themselves and their families fishing the vast Lake Kariba. With no industry in the area, they depend on the lake for their livelihoods. Yet they say they face constant challenges in making a living—the biggest of which is harassment from officials…. [READ MORE]

Report: Working without Pay—Wage Theft in Zimbabwe

An astounding 80,000 Zimbabwe workers in formal employment—out of some 350,000 workers—did not receive wages and benefits on time in 2014, according to a new Solidarity Center report, “Working Without Pay: Wage Theft in Zimbabwe,” released today in Harare. As a result of this widespread wage theft, many workers say they are forced to eat only… [READ MORE]

Migrant Workers Empowered by Forming Unions

“Organizing campaigns that are led by migrant workers themselves are making the impossible possible,” says Tefere Gebre, AFL-CIO executive vice president, succinctly summing up the discussion that opened the second day of the conference Labor Migration: Who Benefits? “When workers come together, it doesn’t matter if you are a native or a migrant. If we… [READ MORE]

Vulnerable Workers Targets of Gender-Based Violence

Participants in Monday’s final session of the Solidarity Center labor migration conference engaged in a lively discussion with panelists in a discussion of migrant workers’ vulnerability to gender-based violence. Lisa McGowan, senior specialist for gender equality, outlined the broad picture, pointing out that gender-based violence is “one of the most widespread human rights violations in… [READ MORE]

‘Marginalization of Migrant Workers: Crisis for Democracy’

Asia’s growth as a global factory comes at a price, says Sanjiv Pandita, executive director of the Asia Monitor Resource Center (AMRC) in Hong Kong. “The most important point is that migrant workers pay the price,” he said. In fact, Asia has more than 70 percent of global vulnerable workers—nearly 1 billion. Pandita, whose organization… [READ MORE]

‘Shutting Doors Won’t Help Migrant Workers’

Highlighting the rampant economic inequality across the globe that is in part driving people to migrate for work far from their homes, Michelle Leighton, chief of the Labor Migration Branch at the International Labor Organization (ILO), provided a detailed look at the ILO’s current and planned response to addressing the many challenges migrant workers face… [READ MORE]

Labor Migration: Defining Issue of Our Time

With 247 million migrants around the world, the vast majority of whom are migrating for labor, “migration is the defining issue of our time,” says Sabina Dewan, president and executive director of JustJobs Network. “We need to talk about just jobs…so workers who want to migrate, migrate because of choice, not compulsion,” says Dewan, who… [READ MORE]

Civil Rights & Shared Prosperity for Migrant Workers

Saying that “labor migration takes place in an economic context of massive and growing global economic inequality,” Shawna Bader-Blau, Solidarity Center executive director, helped set the stage for the first day of the August 10–12 event, Labor Migration: Who Benefits? A Solidarity Center Conference on Worker Rights & ​Shared Prosperity. “Systems that regulate labor migration… [READ MORE]

Labor Migration Conference Starts Monday!

Human rights lawyer Preeda Tongcumnum is among the more than 200 migrant worker advocates gathering in Bogar, Indonesia, this week to take part in the Solidarity Center labor migration conference. As assistant to the secretary general at the Human Rights and Development Foundation (HRDF), Tongcumnum helps migrant workers in Thailand understand their legal rights and… [READ MORE]

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