Our Approach

The Solidarity Center empowers men and women around the world to earn safe and dignified livelihoods, exercise their fundamental labor rights and have a voice in shaping work conditions and public policies that impact their lives. Workers accomplish this by organizing and joining unions, through which they are able to negotiate collective improvements as well as build and balance power at the workplace and within the global economy.

Our professional staff of more than 200 work in more than 60 countries with 400-plus labor unions and allied organizations to support workers—in garment factories, home service, seafood processing, mining, agriculture, informal marketplaces, manufacturing, the public sector and beyond—as they exercise their rights, including organizing for safer work sites, demanding living wages and improving laws (and the enforcement of existing laws) that protect working people, and fighting exploitation and abuse.

Solidarity Center Program Goals

The Solidarity Center very deliberately designs and implements programs that do one or more of the following:

  • Confront the gender discrimination that suppresses women’s voice at work and racism in all its forms—for both are deliberate tools to disenfranchise people
  • Provide workers–especially the most marginalized, such as domestic workers, street vendors, agriculture and migrant workers–with the information they need to understand their rights, raise the voices of the grassroots, and lead their own organizations to improve their jobs
  • Build global solidarity that connects people across borders, sharing strategies and providing peer support
  • Advance legal strategies to strengthen labor laws and human rights laws at the country, regional and global levels
  • Pursue alliances that help build enduring democratic societies,broadly collaborating with allies in the larger social justice movement to become stronger together

Hands-on Training and Individualized Support

The Solidarity Center works one-on-one with workers, and crafts programs to support the specific needs of unions, associations and workers.  For instance, we

  • Provide training and technical expertise that can help workers take on societal ills such as child labor, human trafficking, unfair labor laws, infringement of women’s rights, dangerous workplaces and the exploitation of the vulnerable
  • Assist unions trying to strengthen internal structures, including achievement of gender parity
  • Work with women as they challenge the systems and organizations that deny them voice
  • Conduct health and safety trainings for factory and other workers, and support networks of workers injured on the job
  • Implement legal assistance programs, including training paralegals, to help workers recover stolen wages or benefits illegally denied them
  • Connect migrant workers to protective networks, decreasing their vulnerability
  • Link workers and their unions with others sharing similar struggles and experiences
  • Boost advocacy efforts so that campaigns resonate beyond borders
  • Stand in solidarity with social-change activists around the world as we strive to build a global network of worker rights defenders