About this Blog

The Labor is Not a Commodity blog is a collaborative blog space where organizations concerned with international labor rights issues can post comments about current events in labor news.  Please see below for descriptions of the four current participants of this blog.  If you would like to contact us about the blog, please e-mail laborrights[at]ilrf.org.

International Labor Rights Forum
ILRF is an advocacy organization dedicated to achieving just and humane treatment for workers worldwide. ILRF serves a unique role among human rights organizations as advocates for and with working poor around the world. We believe that all workers have the right to a safe working environment where they are treated with dignity and respect, and where they can organize freely to defend and promote their rights and interests. We are committed to overcoming the problems of child labor, forced labor, and other abusive labor practices. We promote enforcement of labor rights internationally through public education and mobilization, research, legislation, and collaboration with labor, government and business groups.

Women in Central America and the U.S. face similar challenges in the workplace, especially when it comes to low wages, discrimination, insufficient childcare services and dangerous working conditions. To change these shared conditions, STITCH, founded in 1998, unites Central American and U.S. women workers to exchange strategies on how to fight for economic justice in the workplace.  STITCH equips women with the essential skills through trainings and educational tools, and in the process, builds lasting relationships with women across the two regions, further empowering women in the labor movement. STITCH also ensures women's voices are heard in global debates and discussions on issues that impact them: globalization, trade agreements, immigration policy, and global labor standards.

SweatFree Communities
SweatFree Communities assists sweatshop workers globally in their struggles to improve working conditions and form strong, independent unions.  SweatFree Communities was founded in 2003 by anti-sweatshop organizers in Maine, Minnesota, New York, Wisconsin and elsewhere who had been working separately on local campaigns to convince school districts, cities, states, and other institutional purchasers to adopt “sweatfree” purchasing policies and stop tax dollars from subsidizing sweatshops and abusive child labor. SweatFree Communities created a structure to facilitate the sharing of resources and information and built a national sweatfree movement that has the unity and political strength to generate significant market demand for products that are made in humane conditions by workers who earn living wages.

The US/Labor Education in the Americas Project (US/LEAP) works to support the basic rights of workers in Central America, Colombia, Ecuador, and Mexico, especially those who are employed directly or indirectly by U.S. companies. Founded in 1987 as the US/Guatemala Labor Education Project (US/GLEP) by trade unionists and human rights advocates concerned about the basic rights of Guatemalan workers, US/LEAP has since expanded its work to other countries in the region.

US/LEAP's Mission:

(1) to support worker justice in the global economy, specifically to support workers in Central America, Colombia, Ecuador and Mexico who are fighting for dignity, respect and and justice.

(2) to secure global rules for the global economy that ensure respect for the basic rights of workers.

(3) to hold U.S. corporations responsible for worker rights' violations in the factories and on the plantations from which they buy in Central America, Colombia, Ecuador, and Mexico.

(4) to support trade policies and programs that condition participation on respect for the basic rights of workers.

(5) to support the development of stronger cross-border relationships between Latin American workers and U.S. trade unions and community activists so that Latin America workers can more effectively use U.S. support campaigns to ensure their own rights.