Research

9th Annual Symposium

“Latin American Labor at a Crossroads: Obstacles and Opportunities in Times of Change”

April 13-14, 2023

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CONTACT

Center for Global Workers’ Rights

Dr. Mark Anner Center Director, Center for Global Workers’ Rights

EMAIL: cgwr@psu.edu PHONE: +1 814-865-5425 FAX: +1 814-867-4169

The CGWR Spring Symposium

The Tenth Annual Symposium

Reflecting on Decent Work in Africa: Challenges, Opportunities and Transitions

April 3-4, 2024  |  The Graduate Hotel, State College, PA.

This event is cosponsored by the African Studies Program

Despite structural challenges such as informal employment and population displacement, African workers continue to organize and fight for better working conditions. Unions are actively engaging to strengthen international union solidarity, to reduce carbon emissions, and to protect women workers. This academic­ practitioner event will bring together top scholars and worker rights advocates to talk about challenges and opportunities for governance and democratization, union revitalization, and the protection of vulnerable workers.

More information: luis.mendoza@psu.edu

Space is limited. To register for the event, please contact luis.mendoza@psu.edu.

Speakers included

Paule-France N’dessomin (South Africa)
Regional Secretary of the Sub-Saharan Africa {lndustriALL)

Jacqueline Wamai (Kenya)
Regional Coordinator for Sub-Saharan Africa of the ILAW- Solidarity Center

Jaye Gaskia (Nigeria)
Director, Praxis Academy, Nigeria Co-Convenor, Campaign for Transformative Governance Affiliation

Bash Kamal (Ghana)
Gender, Labour and Safeguarding Specialist. Gender Equality Officer, General Agricultural Workers Union of TUC-Gh

Fredrick Ouma (Kenya)
Secretary General Emeritus of the Kenya Medical Practitioners Pharmacists and Dentists Union

Christine Bischoff (South Africa)
Lecturer in the Department of Sociology at University of the Witwatersrand

Annual Spring Symposium Archives

Presentations of the CGWR Symposium speakers

Wednesday, April 3, 7:00-8:30 P.M.  |  Foster Auditorium, 102 Paterno Library

This is a free public seminar as part of the Tenth Annual Spring Symposium

Moderator

Manuel Rosaldo
Assistant Professor of Labor and Employment Relations, Penn State

Speakers

Paule-France N’dessomin (South Africa)
Regional Secretary of the Sub-Saharan Africa {lndustriALL)

Mercy Nabwire (Kenya)
Unionist and Graduate Student, M.P.S. in Labor and Global Workers’ Rights, Penn State

Bash Kamal (Ghana)
Gender, Labour and Safeguarding Specialist. Gender Equality Officer, General Agricultural Workers Union of TUC-Gh

Download the Seminar Flyer

A dialogue between trade unionists, experts, and representatives of US based international organizations in charge of promoting decent work in Africa1

Friday, April 5, 1 P.M. ET  |  At the AFL-CIO, The Solidarity Room
815 Black Lives Matter Plaza NW, Washington, DC 20006

1:00 – 2:30 p.m. Lunch Discussion: What is the U.S. Global labor strategy in Africa? US-funded work-related approaches and priorities in Africa.

1:00-1:05 Moderator: Luis Mendoza. Center for Global Workers’ Rights – Penn State University.

1:05-1:35 Kelly Fay Rodriguez. The Special Representative for International Labor Affairs.

1:35-2:30 Q&A section

3:00 – 4:30 p.m. Public Talk: Promoting labor rights to ensure governance and strengthen democracy in Africa. The speakers will address the following questions:

3:00-3:05 p.m. Moderator: Cathy Feingold. Director of the International Department at AFL-CIO.

Presenters will address the following questions:

  • What are some of the structural challenges for achieving Decent Work in Africa?
  • What has been done well? (Some sustainable and successful experiences).
  • What needs to be improved?

3:05-3:20 p.m. Crispin Rigby. International Relations Officer ILAB/DOL.

3:20-3:35 p.m. Jacqueline Wamai. Regional Coordinator for Sub-Saharan Africa of the ILAW- Solidarity Center.

3:35-3:50 p.m. Bashiratu Kamal. Gender, Labour and Safeguarding Specialist. Gender Equality Officer, General Agricultural Workers Union of TUC-Gh

3:50-4:30 p.m. Q&A section

 

1 This activity is part of the Tenth Center for Global Workers’ Rights Symposium.

Download the Program Flyer

LATIN AMERICAN LABOR AT A CROSSROADS: OBSTACLES AND OPPORTUNITIES IN TIMES OF CHANGE (APRIL 13-14, 2023)

The Center for Global Workers’ Rights (CGWR) is proud to host another Spring Symposium and hopes it will be useful in guiding the efforts of scholars and practitioners toward addressing obstacles and opportunities in times of change in Latin-American.  The CGWR host renowned union leaders and academics from across the Americas to analyze the potential and actual opportunities and challenges for the Latin American labor movement.  In particular, the participants and speakers will discuss how Latin American unions are attempting to rebuild their institutional and structural power with help from their allies in power in the face of diverse economic and political restrictions, and how different actors from outside Latin America are playing a role in reshaping the strategies, practices, and perspectives of organized labor in the region.

Download the Symposium Booklet

CGWR Spring Symposium
2023 CGWR Spring Symposium

Presentations of the CGWR Symposium speakers

Public Seminar: The Future of Work and Unions in the Americas

April 13, 2023

Free Public Seminar

6:00-8:00 p.m. | 108 Chambers Building

Across the Americas, workers are confronting challenges linked to deindustrialization and widening economic inequalities, including the rise of radical, neo-authoritarian political movements and the decline of traditional forms of political representation, environmental degradation and climate change, and the lack of effective public policies to guarantee care and social protection for all. In response, they are experimenting with new forms of organizing, coalition building, and public policy advocacy.

In this seminar, held in conjunction with the Ninth Annual Center for Global Workers’ Rights Symposium, labor leaders and scholar-activists from the United States, Mexico and Brazil will discuss how the labor movement in North and South America is envisioning the future of work in the face of these systemic crises. They will also discuss what organized labor is doing to promote sustainable and equitable development, tax justice to ensure adequate funding for public services, and the creation of a robust care infrastructure for workers and their families.

Speakers include:

Cathy Feingold
International Department Director, AFL-CIO, United States

Jocelio Drummond
Regional Secretary for the Americas, Public Services International (PSI), Brazil

Mary Goldsmith
Professor of Women's Studies, Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana-Xochimilco, Mexico

Moderator:

Manuel Rosaldo
Assistant Professor of Labor and Employment Relations, Penn State

Download the Flyer

CGWR Symposium Related Events

Symposium on LABOR INFORMALITY IN COMPARATIVE PERSPECTIVE: TOWARD A MORE JUST FUTURE FOR WORKERS

April 20, 2018

The Center for Global Workers’ Rights is proud to host another Spring Symposium and hopes it will be useful in guiding the efforts of scholars and practitioners toward addressing labor informality across various contexts. Weaving together empirical data, historical narratives, and contemporary reflections on labor informality in comparative perspective, we will together ask: How can workers build power in the informal sector? How can our work, practice, teaching and organizing increase worker protections, standards, and dignity in the informal sector? Moreover, how do we bring about a more just future for all workers? You can review the program booklet to see all of the talks from the Symposium.

CGWR Symposium Related Events

Symposium for Worker Health and Precarious Work in Global Supply Chains

March 23, 2017

The Center for Global Workers’ Rights is proud to host another Spring Symposium and hopes it will be useful in guiding the efforts of scholars and practitioners toward addressing precarious work and worker health concerns in Global Supply Chains. This will be done through a frank discussion on the lessons learned from current initiatives and a review of relevant scholarship and work that needs to be done as we move forward. The symposium will adhere to the Chatham House Rule by which “participants are free to use the information received, but neither the identity nor the affiliation of the speakers, nor that of any other participant, may be revealed.” Review the program booklet to view the speakers from the Symposium.

Background Papers and Reports

Anner, Mark. "Stopping the Race to the Bottom: Challenges for Workers' Rights in Supply Chains in Asia."

Bhattacharjee, Anannya, and Ashim Roy. "Bargaining in the global commodity chain: the Asia Floor Wage Alliance."

Brown, Garrett. "Genuine Worker Participation - An Indispensable Key to Effective Global OHS."

Dutta, Madhumita, "The Nokia SEZ Story: Economy of Disappearances."

Pandita, Sanjiv and Fahmi Panimbang, "Global Supply Chains: Struggle within them or against them?"

Rosenbaum, JJ and Daniel Costa, "Temporary foreign workers by the numbers."

Rosenbaum, JJ, "The world watches the US on labor abuse."

Smith, Ted and Chad Raphael, "The Future of Activism for Electronics Workers."

Sznajder, Kristin, et al., "Gynecologic pain related to occupational stress among female factory workers in Tianjin, China."

von Broembsen, Marlese and Shae Godfrey, "Labour Law and Development Viewed from Below."