The Solidarity Center is the largest U.S.-based international worker rights organization helping workers attain safe and healthy workplaces, family-supporting wages, dignity on the job and greater equity at work and in their community. Allied with the AFL-CIO, the Solidarity Center assists workers across the globe as, together, they fight discrimination, exploitation and the systems that entrench poverty—to achieve shared prosperity in the global economy.
The Solidarity Center acts on the fundamental principle that working people can, by exercising their right to freedom of association and forming trade unions and democratic worker rights organizations, collectively improve their jobs and workplaces, call on their governments to uphold laws and protect human rights, and be a force for democracy, social justice and inclusive economic development.
Founded in 1997 and allied with the U.S. labor movement, the Solidarity Center works with unions, worker associations and community groups to provide a wide range of education, training, research, legal support and other resources to help build strong and effective trade unions and more just and equitable societies. Its programs—in more than 60 countries—focus on human and worker rights awareness, union skills, occupational safety and health, economic literacy, human trafficking, women’s empowerment and bolstering workers in an increasingly informal economy. Solidarity Center programs support and contribute to the global movement for labor rights.
At the Solidarity Center, they believe that all people who work should receive the rewards of their work—decent paychecks and benefits, safe jobs, respect and fair treatment. They believe that economic and social injustice around the world are neither intractable problems nor acceptable byproducts of a global economy where some can win at the expense of many. Rather, they believe working women and men can collectively improve their wages and workplaces, call on their governments to uphold laws and protect human rights, and be a force for democracy, shared prosperity and inclusive economic development.
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.
Their professional staff of more than 200 work in more than 60 countries with 300-plus labor unions, pro-worker nongovernmental organizations, legal-aid groups, human rights defenders, women’s associations, advocacy coalitions and others 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.
- 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 they strive to build a global network of worker rights defenders
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