On May Day, No Borders Between Workers
May 2nd, 2012 | Mike Hall
Delgado noted that Latina workers suffer from the same—and often more so—wage and job discrimination and sexual harassment as all women workers. She said LCLAA and other workers’ right groups are fighting to ensure Latinas have jobs:
where their rights are respected—not just as workers—but as women.
You can find out more from LCLAA’s report, “Trabajadoras: Challenges and Conditions of Latina Workers in the United States.” Click here to download.
The forum included Iris Munguia, the first women elected to lead COLSIBA, the union for banana workers in eight Latin American nations. Speaking through a translator, Munguia explained how women built power and a voice in a male-dominated sector, first by forming women’s committees at individual worksites that grew into a coalition throughout Honduras before building out to other nations.
They have developed a Women’s Rights Platform that is now a template used in negotiations with nearly two dozen large employers. The three central demands are:
COLSIBA has worked closely with the AFL-CIO in the recent filing of petition with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Trade and Labor Affairs that charges the Honduran government with failure to effectively enforce its labor laws and comply with its commitments under the six-year-old Dominican Republic-Central America Free Trade Agreement (DR-CAFTA). Click here for more.
Munguia said she couldn’t stress enough,
“The high importance that solidarity has been with our sisters and brothers in the United States and across Latin America….Your help will help us win.”
About the author: Mike Hall is a former West Virginia newspaper reporter, staff writer for the United Mine Workers Journal and managing editor of the Seafarers Log. He came to the AFL-CIO in 1989 and has written for several federation publications, focusing on legislation and politics, especially grassroots mobilization and workplace safety.