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Defying Challenges, Myanmar Workers Win Rights at Work

Fifteen minutes before the gray, 12-foot gate of the garment factory compound in Myanmar’s Hlaing Thar Yar industrial zone opens to release workers, vendors selling fried chicken on sticks and bags of nuts gather in anticipation. At a designated time, the guards roll back the gate and the vendors push their heavy carts up a steep hill and into the compound. If they hesitate, they are locked out as guards quickly close the gate behind them.

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, you can now see they are renovating some of these houses and negotiation is on the table so they can fast track the renovation.”

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 in Harare.

Building Bridges of Solidarity

One million dollars. It may not seem like much when compared to the trillion-dollar figures that characterize the budgets of modern governments or the balance sheets of investment banks, but, to the vast majority of people, one million dollars is an enormous amount of money.

One Man’s Evolution to Understanding Gender Inequality

Nhlanhla Mabizela says he first truly grasped the meaning of gender inequality on a winter day in the dusty streets of Alexandra Township in post-apartheid South Africa.

Cutting through an alley surrounded by houses made of iron scrap and plastic sheets, Mabizela and a friend came across a group of children playing. All were barefoot in the cold, with a single layer of clothes he assumed were the only ones they owned.

‘I Was a Garment Worker and I Know Exploitation’

The “Made in Jordan” label is familiar to U.S. consumers shopping for shirts, jeans, and other clothes. Mervat Jumhawi, a Jordanian union organizer, is actively ensuring the largely migrant workforce that cuts and sews these garments does so in safe conditions, receives fair wages, and is treated with respect on the job.

Mind the Gap: Creating Economic Opportunities for Youth

Global youth unemployment has reached staggering levels. The International Labour Organization (ILO) estimates that 73.4 million youth were unemployed in 2013, up from 69.9 million in 2007. In the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, one in four young people are unemployed. In South Africa, roughly 50 percent of youth ages 15 to 24 are jobless. Yet these numbers are a snapshot of a multifaceted crisis that represents an immediate challenge not just for youth, but for all of us.


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