More Updates

Garment workers in Karnataka, India owed millions in unpaid wages

Photo: #PayYourWorkers

Over 400,000 garment workers in the garment hub of Karnataka in India have not been paid the state’s legal minimum wage since April 2020. The Worker Rights Consortium calls this the “worst wage theft” ever seen in the global garment industry, with the estimated total amount of unpaid wages exceeding US$58 million. With each month that goes by, the amount owed to the workers will continue to accumulate by more than $2 million.

Independent Mexican union wins vote at GM Silao

Unions and other worker rights organizations show their solidarity with
GM workers near the plant in Silao. Credit: Arturo Left and Ulises Vidal

The independent union SINTTIA has won a precedent-setting vote among four unions competing to represent over 6,000 workers at the GM Silao pickup truck factory in Guanajuato, Mexico in negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement.

In the highly anticipated February 1-2 vote, 4,192 out of the 5,478 votes cast were for SINTTIA, 932 and 247 respectively for two unions linked to Mexico’s largest official union confederation, the CTM. A third union affiliated with Mexico’s second largest official union confederation, the CROC, only received 18 votes.

El Salvador: Industrias Florenzi workers win US$1 million in severance pay

Photo: Worker Rights Consortium

Approximately 200 former employees of the Industrias Florenzi garment factory in El Salvador were owed US$1.3 million in severance pay since the factory closed in July 2020. Industrias Florenzi was a supplier for Barco Uniforms, producing Grey’s Anatomy brand medical scrubs and other products.

New union-employer agreement in Sri Lanka addresses key worker rights issues

On December 23, garment worker unions in Sri Lanka signed a ground-breaking agreement with the employer organization Joint Apparel Association Forum (JAAF) that addresses vitally important workplace issues for garment workers, especially during the pandemic.

In a joint statement, Clean Clothes Campaign, Labour behind the Label, Maquila Solidarity Network, Solidarity Center, War on Want, and Workers United welcome the important progress the union-employer agreement represents.

El Salvador’s proposed law poses threat to civil society organizations

Human rights advocates are sounding the alarm on a proposed “Foreign Agents Law” in El Salvador that would severely limit the work of independent civil society organizations and media outlets. Due to international pressure, the Legislative Assembly has placed the approval of the law on hold for now in an attempt to reach a consensus with the international community. Nevertheless, considerable concern remains about future drafts of the bill.

Legitimating collective bargaining agreements in Mexico: What have we learned to date?

MSN’s latest Briefing Paper on Mexico’s labour justice reform assesses the process for legitimizing existing collective bargaining agreements, a four-year process initiated in 2019. All existing CBAs in Mexico must be subjected to a vote for the workers’ approval by May 1, 2023.

The 31-page report critically examines how the votes are organized and implemented, why most have been in favour of existing CBAs, how government oversight could be improved, and the need for greater transparency in public reporting.

Mexico’s CBA Legitimation Vote Results: September 2019-April 2021

To better understand and analyze the process for the legitimation of existing collective bargaining agreements (CBAs) required by Mexico’s labour justice reform, MSN compiled a database of all contract legitimation votes for the two-year period when the Secretariat of Labour and Social Welfare (STPS) was charged with overseeing the process. The research published by MSN also provides publicly available information that is not easily accessible on the government’s legitimation portal.