by Vittorio Longhi
The word for “crisis” in Chinese has the extra connotation of “opportunity”, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Global wage report researchers explain. With a fair degree of wilful optimism, the study suggests that the current economic and job crises might provide a good, probably unique, opportunity to develop a much more effective wage policy, which would contribute to an economy that’s actually sustainable, both in industrialised and developing countries.
The data shows that the crises have hit employment and wage levels harder in advanced economies, but these countries can rely on well established social protection systems. The question, beyond the statistics, is what the impact will be in developing countries, in terms of wealth redistribution, desirable work opportunities and social justice. continue
By Walden Bello*
The migrant worker experience is one that is increasingly typical. Let’s start with myself. I am now back in the Philippines, but I spent nearly 20 years as a political exile in the United States during the Marcos dictatorship. During that time I survived by working as a journalist, teaching, doing research, and taking on odd jobs in different American cities. Continue reading ‘The migrant condition’
By Vijita Fernando
The world has almost forgotten the plight of Rizana Nafeek, the Sri Lankan teenager who was sentenced to death for the alleged killing of her employer’s infant during her three months’ stay as a housemaid in a wealthy Saudi household in 2005. Continue reading ‘The Feminisation of The Migrant Labour Force in Sri Lanka’
By John Moreno Gonzales (AP)
NASHVILLE — Toribio Jimenez says an asbestos removal company used a guest worker program to trap him in virtual servitude, then fired him when he complained, forcing him to work illegally. Robert Martin believes the same company kept him unemployed by hiring foreigners like Jimenez. The men have become surprising allies in a lawsuit that claims a long-standing guest worker program harms American and immigrant workers alike. The program has issued visas for 22 years amid steady complaints, and both sides of the immigration debate say it warrants close scrutiny as the Obama administration prepares to tackle comprehensive immigration reform next year. Continue reading ‘US workers, immigrants unite vs. work visa program’
By Johann Hari
There are three different Dubais, all swirling around each other. There are the expats; there are the Emiratis, headed by Sheikh Mohammed; and then there is the foreign underclass who built the city, and are trapped here. They are hidden in plain view. You see them everywhere, in dirt-caked blue uniforms, being shouted at by their superiors, like a chain gang – but you are trained not to look. It is like a mantra: the Sheikh built the city. The Sheikh built the city. Workers? What workers? Continue reading ‘The dark side of Dubai’
By Young Ran-jeon
With the international community tightening economic sanctions on North Korean entities for their alleged involvement in nuclear and weapons activities, Pyongyang is ever more eager to earn hard currency. One of the few options for the regime to get foreign dollars is to rely on its own labor exports. VOA’s Korean Service reporter Young Ran-jeon recently visited Vladivostok, Russia and filed this report voiced by Kate Woodsome. Pseudonyms were used to protect the workers interviewed for this story.
Continue reading ‘North Korean workers earn dollars for construction work in Russia’
By Steven Greenhouse
The A.F.L.-C.I.O., the nation’s largest labor organization, has often been criticized for being “male, pale and stale” — dominated by cigar-chomping, golf-playing chieftains. But as Richard L. Trumka assumes the group’s presidency on Wednesday, he says he is determined to improve labor’s image and woo a younger generation that either thinks of unions as irrelevant, or does not think of them at all. Continue reading ‘US: Promising a New Day, again’