Author: Caitlin Hoover

63,000 work at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, and 50,000 work at Toronto’s Lester B. Pearson International Airport, making it Canada’s largest worksite.  Principally focused on airports large enough to host the upcoming 2026 FIFA World Cup, hosted in North America, this GLJ-IRLF report describes U.S. airport governance, airport jobs, airport employers, and policy tools for improving the quality of the work that makes air transportation possible.  Its purpose is to acquaint the reader with the realities and opportunities of airport work, noting the great strides workers, their organizations, and their allies have recently made in improving the quality of jobs at airports.  The report also looks ahead to the 2026 FIFA World Cup, briefly surveying the opportunities and challenges these games present to North American airport workers.

Download the report: https://globallaborjustice.org/making-airports-work-for-airport-workers/

In a month FIFA will be making its final city selection for the North American 2026 World Cup which will take place with games in the U.S., Mexico, and Canada. FIFA and the World Cup’s dismal record on human rights, from Qatar to Brazil to South Africa and prioritization of corporate sponsors over communities and workers impacted has tarnished the internationally-beloved game of football. 

As planning for the World Cup to be held in North America in 2026 gets under way, there has never been a more important time to put pressure on FIFA to set and abide by minimum labor and human rights standards. FIFA’s recent unprecedented action to ban Russia from the 2022 World Cup demonstrates that they are not impervious to pressure from a growing movement of fans, athletes, workers and communities of solidarity across national borders. 

FIFA is set to generate around $7 billion from #WorldCup2026, but the thousands of workers who will make the event possible currently earn the U.S. federal minimum wage of just $7.25 an hour. GLJ-ILRF is joining a coalition of labor, human rights, environmental and other organizations concerned with FIFA’s social impact to demand it uphold fair human rights and labor standards for these mostly black, brown, and immigrant workers and for all who will be impacted by the World Cup games in host cities in the US, Mexico, and Canada. Instead of a race to the bottom, FIFA must raise labor standards, just as it purports to uphold the values of fair play in football. 

The coalition is calling on FIFA to uphold its commitments to human and labor rights in the 2026 World Cup and seeks to transform the organization into a globally responsible steward of human rights and dignity both on and off the field. It is time we take the game of football back.

You can join us in taking action right now, by signing the petition: https://act.aflcio.org/letters/fifa/

Background: In April 2022, Indian women- and Dalit-worker led union TTCU signed a historic agreement with clothing and textile manufacturer Eastman Exports to end gender-based violence and harassment at Eastman factories in Dindigul, in the southern state of Tamil Nadu in India. TTCU, GLJ-ILRF, and AFWA also signed a legally binding agreement, subject to arbitration, with multinational fashion company H&M, which has an ongoing business relationship with Eastman Exports. U.S. companies Gap Inc. and PVH also signed similar agreements later in 2022. 

The Dindigul agreement requires brand signatories to support and enforce the TTCU-Eastman Exports agreement. Under the terms of the agreement, if Eastman Exports violates its commitments, brand signatories are obligated to impose business consequences on Eastman Exports until Eastman comes into compliance. 

Together, these interlocking agreements constitute the Dindigul Agreement — an “enforceable brand agreement” (EBA) in which multinational companies legally commit to labor and allies to use their supply chain relationships to support a worker- or union-led program at certain factories or worksites. 

    Dindigul-Agreement-Fact-Sheet-Jan-2023

    January 5th, 2022

    The following is a statement from GLJ-ILRF, Asia Floor Wage Alliance and the Tamil Nadu Textile and Common Labour Union (TTCU):

    This week marks the one-year anniversary of the horrific murder of Jeyasre Kathiravel, a young Indian Dalit woman, a student and an organizer against gender-based violence and harassment at a large Indian garment manufacturer sourcing to major U.S. and European fashion brands. Jeyasre was murdered by her supervisor after facing months of sexual harassment.

    On this painful anniversary we stand with Jeyasre’s family, her loved ones, and all of her fellow union members of TTCU, as we honor her life by steadfastly working to transform her former factory into a space free of gender-based violence, harassment and discrimination based on caste or status as migrants. 

    The push for change at Jeyasre’s supplier has advanced significantly. This has been possible in part because of the massive outpouring of solidarity including from unions from over 30 countries, women’s rights organizations, Dalit rights organizations, retail workers, models, immigrant rights advocates, and so many more who met with members of the campaign and committed to support the push for structural changes in the fashion supply chain.

    We are working closely with several brands and the supplier to reach an agreement to prevent and remediate gender-based violence and harassment and encourage freedom of association at the supplier factories. We acknowledge the steps that these brands and the supplier are taking towards this, including the gesture by the supplier to commemorate the tragic death of Jeyasre by providing educational scholarships to children of garment workers in Jeyasre’s factory. 

    We will announce the results of our negotiations at the end of this month. 

    We call on our friends and allies to honor the life of Jeyasre by continuing to stand in solidarity with her and her fellow garment workers who are organizing for an end to gender-based violence and harassment not only in Tamil Nadu but across fashion supply chains globally.