Decent Work

Women Redefine Japan’s Work Culture

Unhappy with her employer of five years, Chikako Harada, 34, quit three months ago and has just started on a new job with a large Internet sales company. 

Green Bricks Pave Future for Female Workers

At first glance the smart young women in white overcoats, black rubber boots and protective face masks seem out of place in impoverished Bangladesh’s dirtiest industry – brick making. 

Stephanie Seguino. Credit: Courtesy of Stephanie Seguino

Q&A: How to Reverse the “Feminisation of Poverty”

The phrase "financing for gender equality" may sound dry, but it lies at the heart of some of the most intractable problems faced by women around the world today – and whether the political will exists to allocate real resources to solving them or simply pay lip service.

Workers Send More Money Home, Surpassing Development Aid

Despite a global economic crisis, worsening employment prospects for immigrants and hardening views on immigration in the U.S. and Europe, migrant workers are sending more money home, according to a World Bank report on global remittances released Wednesday.

ARGENTINA: Women Build New Opportunities in Cooperatives

Forged in the 2001-2002 social and economic crisis, cooperatives in Argentina are becoming a fast track to women's participation in what were traditionally regarded as male spheres.

MEXICO: Maquiladora Factories Manufacture Toxic Pollutants

Since the 1960s, maquiladoras or export assembly plants have been the cornerstone of Mexico's strategy to attract foreign direct investment and boost exports. But the environmental and social costs have been high.

MIDEAST: Never a Good Day for This Population

In dire need of money to assist her family back home, 27-year-old Makeda from Ethiopia was forced to return to the Middle East as a domestic worker.

U.S.: Supreme Court Walmart Decision Is a “Blow to Justice”

Labour and women’s rights groups are strongly criticising the Supreme Court’s rejection of a class action suit brought by current and former female employees of Walmart who sought to represent 1.5 million female employees who claim that the company discriminated against women.

GUATEMALA: Unions Seek Labour Justice Under Free Trade Deal

"My brother was murdered, and we're still the victims of threats and harassment, which is why we filed the petition" under the free trade agreement signed with the United States by Central America and the Dominican Republic, (DR-CAFTA), said Guatemalan trade unionist Noé Ramírez.

ECONOMY-ARGENTINA: Unemployment and Shortage of Skilled Workers Coexist

Despite the fast growth of the Argentine economy, unemployment remains a tough nut to crack. While many areas face a dearth of skilled workers, a large number of unskilled workers find it impossible to land a job.

Rural worker in Argentina harvesting the crop. Credit: Courtesy of Estudios y Proyectos Asociación Civil

ARGENTINA: Rural Slavery at Time of Record Earnings

Crowded into precarious mud-floored dorms or sheet-metal trailers or forced to live in tents of plastic sheeting, with neither piped water nor electricity, after working 14-hour days: these are the harsh conditions faced by hundreds of thousands of rural workers in Argentina despite bumper crops and record earnings for agribusiness.

Workers at a garment factory outside Colombo.  Credit: J. Weerasekera

SRI LANKA: Garment Industry Woos Women Workers

Sri Lanka’s garment industry has launched a multi-million rupee campaign to bring in female workers shunning the country’s most profitable sector for better paying jobs.

SRI LANKA: Domestics Court Risks, Defying Age Bar

Sri Lanka has raised the age requirement for women wanting to leave the country to work as domestics abroad, but recruitment agents say this won’t prevent younger women from joining the exodus.

ILO 17th American Regional Meeting Credit: ILO/Inostroza

LATIN AMERICA: Quality Jobs Urgently Needed for Rising Generation

Programmes to reduce the unemployment rate among young people in Latin America and the Caribbean should be a priority for countries in the region, said experts, trade unionists and government representatives meeting in the Chilean capital.

ARGENTINA: Worker-run Companies Quietly Surviving

After the late 2001 financial and political meltdown in Argentina, thousands of companies were abandoned by their owners in a sea of debt. But some of them were taken over and reopened by their employees. Today, as the economy continues to grow, these worker-run factories are still going strong.

Migrant Workers in Mexico Left to Hoe Their Own Row

Every year since 1975, Castro Solano has left his home in the town of Tlapa de Comonfort, in the southern Mexican state of Guerrero, to work in other parts of the country as a seasonal farm labourer.

Chilean Miners Rescue May Mark a Watershed in Workplace Safety

"This country has to understand that changes must be made," said Mario Sepúlveda, the second Chilean miner -- of the group of 33 trapped 700 metres underground for over two months -- rescued in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

Ten former LFC workers on hunger strike. Credit: Daniela Pastrana/IPS

MEXICO: Women Electrical Workers at Centre of Struggle for Jobs

"Our male coworkers have had to acknowledge it: we have worked side by side in this struggle," says Emilia Peña, describing the role of women in driving forward the battle waged by thousands of workers to reopen a state power company in Mexico.

Thai, Argentine Textile Workers Unite Against Slave Labour

Textile cooperatives founded by former slave labourers from Argentina and Thailand will jointly launch a new brand of clothing in June to raise awareness about exploitation and promote decent jobs in the garment industry.

BOLIVIA: Morales Faces First Workers Protests

Strikes and demonstrations against the Bolivian government's wage policy have marked the end of a honeymoon period between workers and leftwing President Evo Morales.


Trade with the European Union has not significantly improved the situation of workers in Latin America, in spite of its volume having doubled between 1990 and 2007, according to a study by two Chilean academics.

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