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:

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:

A report detailing the limited successes and multiple failures of the International Finance Corporation was launched today by the Global Labor Justice-International Labor Rights Forum (GLJ-ILRF) and the IUF. “Hotel Workers’ Rights in Development Finance: Realizing Performance Standard 2” explores cases in which the IFC failed routinely to perform due diligence and enforce the labor rights standards required of its clients. It also outlines a proposed policy, the Compliance Accountability Policy, which would require IFC clients to negotiate with unions before an investment in hotels is approved. 

IUF affiliates from Senegal, Guinea and Zambia spoke about the IFC-funded hotel projects in their countries and the challenges they faced in dealing with the employers:

Cheikh Makébé Sylla, Health and Safety Coordinator for the IUF in Senegal, spoke about their affiliates’ success negotiating with Kasada Hospitality Fund, which received more than 400 million USD from the IFC to acquire numerous Accor hotels in West Africa.

Michelo Chizyuka, President of HCTAWUZ, Hotel, Catering, Tourism and Allied Workers of Zambia, shared how the complaints over four IFC-funded Marriott hotels in Zambia led to an election and union recognition at the Ciela Resort by Marriott in Lusaka while workers at the other three Marriotts continue to experience anti-union harassment.

Asmaou Bah Doukouré, General Secretary of FHTRC, Federation de l’Hotellerie, Tourisme, Restauration et Brances Connexes, discussed the IFC’s investment in the Sheraton Grand Conakry, the worst case scenario which shows why the Compliance Accountability Policy is needed.

D. Taylor, President of UNITE HERE, described the importance of early engagement with hotel owners to ensuring respect for workers’ rights once the hotel is built and reiterated UNITE HERE’s commitment to working with the IUF to hold hotel employers and development banks accountable

GLJ-ILRF and IUF will continue to work with affiliates to campaign for workers’ rights across the hotel sector and in hotels funded by development banks.

IUF General Secretary Sue Longley stated, “Our Compliance Accountability Policy, if adopted, would ensure the IFC and its hotel clients have access to the knowledge, expertise, and experience of the global labor movement and our local affiliates.  IFC bank loan recipients would understand from the beginning that labor rights are central to the IFC’s development mission, that preferential loan terms and labor rights are inextricably linked, and that the IFC is far more likely to achieve its desired development impact if trade unions are engaged at the early stages of the loan process.”


Today, Global Labor Justice– International Labor Rights Forum joins the International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers’ Associations (IUF) in standing with a new trade union coalition in Guinea that includes the hotel workers, mining workers, teachers, bankers, and other members of the Confederation of Guinean Unions (CSTG).

On the one-year anniversary of their retaliatory terminations, the new trade union coalition came togetherunder the banner “Work Justice and Solidarity” and publicly demanded that the Marriott Sheraton Palma Guinea in Conakry reinstate General Secretary Amadou Diallo and Deputy General Secretary Alhassane Diallo of the Fédération de l’Hôtellerie, Touristique, Restauration et Branche Connexe (FHTRC-ONSLG) and return to good faith bargaining. And they pledged support and solidarity actions until the union leaders are reinstated.

GLJ-ILRF along with the IUF and ITUC have advocated for the International Finance Corporation to use its leverage to ensure freedom of association and collective bargaining as guaranteed by the IFC’s labor performance standards.

IUF General Secretary Sue Longley stated, “Despite COVID-19, Ebola and the recent coup d’état, the workers at the Sheraton Grand Conakry have shown Topaz Group, Marriott and the IFC that they will not stop fighting until their two union leaders are reinstated and the freedom of association is guaranteed for all workers across Guinea.”

GLJ-ILRF Executive Director Jennifer (JJ) Rosenbaum said: “Marriott’s general manager fired these worker leaders to chill protected union organizing at the hotel among the workers and to disempower collective action to improve working conditions at the hotel and more broadly.

But in the face of this retaliation, the Guinean trade union movement grows stronger and more unified. At GLJ-ILRF we repeat the demand that the hotel owner Topaz Group and the hotel manager Marriott corporation reinstate these trade union leaders and ensure the right to freedom of association and collective bargaining going forward.

And we urge the IFC to work with the ITUC, the IUF, and us on a systematic approach to labor violations in IFC funded hospitality projects as well as other sectors so the jobs created meet decent work standards. It is time for the World Bank and IFC along with the U.S. and other directors to take more decisive action to ensure protect the role organized workers and trade unions must play in the current COVID-19 economy and recovery at the national and global level. This includes making them an integral part of the dialogue with the IFC and its loan recipients and responding swiftly to remedy reprisals.”

November 17th, 2021

Union organizing isn’t a game. Well actually, now it is!

Today, GLJ-ILRF and UNI Americas launched Union Drive, the first video game developed as a tool to teach the fundamentals of union organizing.

Over 80 union leaders, organizers and activists from Latin America and around the world attended our launch event to learn more about this interactive, educational tool. We will continue hosting events and trainings for unions and organizers to learn more about Union Drive.

This video game is an innovative new tool and part of GLJ-ILRF’s 2022 plans to expand global campaign development through intensive organizing training. 

In this virtual adventure, you work at a local supermarket. Yesterday 20 of your coworkers were fired. Now is the time to take collective action and secure protections for you and your coworkers.

To get there, you’ll need to lead tough conversations with your coworkers, build trust, agitate, and organize!

“UNI and our affiliates are figuring out ways to use new media to reach more workers and bring them into unions,” said Marcio Monzane, General Secretary of UNI Americas. “This game is an exciting new tool to recruit young workers throughout the Americas.”

Over the past decade, “digital natives” have entered the labor force in every sector. This generation of workers learns and communicates through visual and interactive technological experiences. While no technology can replace the power of one-on-one organizing and relationships among coworkers, labor leaders should follow an old adage of organizing – meet workers where they are. These days, young workers are on their smartphones. 

“Union Drive is a tool and tactic to help us get better organized to take on global capital, which is very well organized”, said Valery Alzaga, GLJ-ILRF’s Deputy Director, “we in labor need to be relevant, digitally smart and present”.

This game will help reach young people who are already leading many movements across the world. “We hope to spark interest in union organizing among young activists.”, said Noah Dobin-Bernstein from GLJ-ILRF, “There have been massive protests and youth uprisings in Chile, Colombia and around the world. We want the young people who are leading those fights to join the labor movement”.

For more information and to get access to the game please email Noah Dobin-Bernstein:

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. 

January 27th, 2022

This week international attention is on Honduras as U.S. Vice President Harris visits the country for the inauguration of Xiomara Castro, Honduras’ first woman President, elected on a platform of tackling the enormous inequalities that have historically plagued the country. Much of the attention will be focused on Honduras’ relationship with the United States, and the Biden administration’s desire to address root causes of migration. Castro’s presidency offers tremendous hope for Hondurans on many levels but key to the question of migration is in their fight to expand labor rights and raise their standard of living in a country where nearly half the population lives below the poverty line.

In the 13 years since the 2009 coup that overthrew the presidency of her husband Jose Manuel Zelaya and ushered in an era of massive labor abuse and impunity for violence against human rights and labor rights defenders, Honduran workers have struggled to organize despite the political and economic forces aligned against them.

For example, in Choluteca, in the south of the country, it’s been over six long years since workers tried to unionize to end abusive conditions in the melon fields, and over a year since billion dollar global agricultural giant Fyffes (owned by Japanese multinational Sumitomo) came to the table to negotiate. To date, no agreement has been signed, and many key worker leaders with the union, Sindicato de Trabajadores de la Agroindustria y Similares (STAS), have been locked out of jobs with chances of employment diminishing by the day as the harvest season progresses. In December, frustrated with Fyffes’ failure to move forward and its ongoing discrimination against STAS-affiliated worker leaders, union members protested in front of Fyffes offices in Choluteca. 

This week STAS called on the incoming administration to take decisive steps to ensure labor rights: “We only hope that the new president will remove [the current local ministry of labor officials]…because they marginalized us and conspired with the company and they’ve destroyed workers’ chances here in the southern region. The Ministry of Labor’s policies support the companies who abuse and mistreat workers in this country,” said STAS leader Moisés Sánchez.

Despite Castro’s election victory, even before she assumed office, a move by representatives of the old political elite to retain leadership of the national congress has brought residents into the streets of the capital city Tegucigalpa. Popular protests have broken out against this attempt to wrest legislative power from Castro’s Libre party that threatens her policy agenda, including expanding protections for workers and the right to organize. STAS leaders have been in Tegucigalpa and are watching the events closely. 

STAS and other union leaders sent a letter of congratulations and support to Castro, in which they also called on her administration to take action to hold Fyffes accountable. (English translation) 

Melon workers in Choluteca are part of a huge movement of workers who have fought long and hard for change in Honduras.  

For many years, the US government has done little to support democratic reform and workers’ rights in Honduras, while demonizing Honduran migrants to the US who have tried to escape the violence and grinding poverty in a country held captive by corrupt politicians, narco-gang leaders and cruel and extractive multinational corporate interests. Vice President Harris should use her visit to the country to make clear the US government’s support for democracy, transparency and labor rights that will provide good jobs and economic growth and enable Hondurans to build a safe and stable society.  

As the Honduran people fight for the future they deserve, Fyffes must stop delaying and sign a fair deal for melon workers. International allies are united in our fight to support STAS and all workers in the country.  

Sign up to stay informed about this and other GLJ-ILRF fights.

October 14th, 2021

In Los Angeles, garment workers like Maria, Elizabeth, and Carlos are earning around $6 an hour. That’s because they’re paid through the piece rate system, where workers earn pennies per garment sewn instead of earning an hourly wage. “These industries are run by millionaires,” Maria from the Garment Workers Center shared on the Los Angeles Justice for Jeyasre Speaking Tour stop, “and they have us enslaved.”

A new law in California, the Garment Workers Protection Act, will end this practice by making major fashion brands responsible for paying garment workers minimum wage. Previously, when workers filed wage theft claims, the suppliers and factories would be responsible for the wages. But, they didn’t have the money to pay back the workers, so they’d often just close or use other tricks to avoid financial responsibility. This bill will make the people at the top of the supply chain, the brands, responsible for wage theft claims.

The Justice for Jeyasre campaign is also fighting to hold brands accountable for working conditions at their factories. At the Los Angeles Speaking Tour stop, both campaigns used the opportunity to share their strategies with one another and join forces. With nearly 60 people in attendance at the speaking tour’s Los Angeles stop, workers and organizers generously shared their power analysis and stories from their campaigns. Members from the Garment Workers Center, the Western States Regional Joint Board (WSRJB) of Workers United, Remake, Fashion Revolution USA, Workers United 75, Bet Tzedek Legal Services, Warehouse Worker Resource Center, and United Students Against Sweatshops spoke about protesting, advocating at the state capitol, and building coalitions to support the bill. 

After years of struggling to get workers their owed wages, these groups focused on brand accountability and won. 

“We fought for the Garment Worker Protection Act for 2 years”, said Daisy Gonzalez, the Lead Member Organizer with the Garment Workers Center, “but winning legislation is just one strategy. We also want to learn about binding agreements. We want our work to be a model to you, and your work to be a model to us as well.”

The Justice for Jeyasre campaign is also fighting to hold brands accountable, but through a set of enforceable and binding agreements between brands, their supplier, and the TTCU. These would include monitoring, remediation, and prevention of gender-based violence and harassment as well as protecting workers’ freedom of association. We know, from Jeyasre’s story, that suppliers create coercive workplaces, rife with sexual harassment and violence to push workers into producing extremely high volumes of clothing at very low wages, and to block them from unionizing. This allows fashion brands to make huge profits. The Justice for Jeyasre campaign puts the responsibility back on brands, who ultimately profit from the low cost and high production of workers in their suppliers’ factories, to end these practices.  

Garment workers in California and India work and organize in different contexts, and therefore build different strategies to win justice. But, when workers and organizers connect those strategies and build global solidarity our campaigns become even stronger.

As Maria Rivera, the Regional Manager from WSRJB said, “Your fight is our fight. We’re always fighting against these gigantic corporations. We have the strength and we have the heart.”

The Justice For Jeyasre speaking tour launched on August 8th at the APALA Convention and is an opportunity for rank and file leaders, staff and members to hear directly from Thivya and the campaign team as they share strategy and demands in their fight with major fast fashion brands producing clothing for a US and European market. 

Click here to visit the Justice for Jeyasre speaking tour website and learn more about how to take action in solidarity with Dalit women garment workers in Tamil Nadu.

Thivya Rakini will share the legacy of Jeyasre Kathiravel, a young Dalit woman and union member who was organizing for better conditions at her workplace and was killed by her supervisor inspiring the Justice for Jeyasre campaign. The campaign is demanding structural changes to the garment supply chain including an end to gender based violence and harassment and freedom of association for garment workers in Tamil Nadu and beyond.

“Young women are the backbone of the fast fashion industry,” said Thivya Rakini. “Through the Justice for Jeyasre campaign and TTCU’s broader organizing strategy, we are advancing a vision for our communities, our economy, and our country. When young women are able to work with dignified conditions and living wages, they will also be able to lead broader change.”  

“We are doing this tour to learn more about organizing efforts coming from the U.S. Like us, we know many are organizing and demanding change in the most difficult environments with centuries of historical oppression. From our experience and theirs, we are hopeful- we see organizing growing more from the South in the U.S. and from the Global South and we want to stand in unity against big corporations who put profit before people” — Thivya Rakini

The tour has already visited major US cities including Tucson, Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, and more. To request more information please contact GLJ-ILRF Field Director

Watch the recording of the Awards here.

On November 8, 2021, Global Labor Justice – International Labor Rights Forum (GLJ-ILRF) hosted its 13th annual event to honor Labor Rights Defenders.  Uplifting the theme “Women Leading Change: From Forced Labor to the Freedom of Association”, the  GLJ-ILRF 2021 Labor Rights Defenders Roundtable brought together five powerful women leaders who are creating innovative models to defend labor rights and build worker power around the world. 

The roundtable featured  Julie Su, Deputy Secretary of Labor of the United States Department of Labor; Ma Moe Sandar Myint, Chairwoman of the Federation of Garment Workers Myanmar (FGWM); Allison Lee (Lee Li Hua), Secretary-General of Yilan Migrant Fishermen Union (YMFU); Roza Agaydarova, Founder of Adolat Sari Olg’a (Onward Toward Justice); and Iris Munguía, Secretaria de la Mujer (Secretary of Women) of Federación Sindical Agrícola (Federation of Industrial Agriculture Unions). Featuring simultaneous interpretation in English, Spanish, Chinese, Russian, the online event attracted a diverse audience of nearly 200 viewers. 

GLJ-ILRF Executive Director, Jennifer (JJ) Rosenbaum, launched the event by highlighting how current discourse on global supply chain shortages during the pandemic has obscured the reality of transnational global production networks, namely that the structure of the business model itself creates extreme downward pressure on wages and working conditions. She reminded audience members that the global race-to-the-bottom has led to a spectrum of abuse, ranging from wage theft to forced labor, which disproportionately impacts women and girls. Making up the majority of victims of forced labor worldwide, female workers tend to earn lower wages, enjoy less stable employment, and have extra barriers to access to justice and remedy than their male counterparts. In addition, they are often relegated to perform hidden and uncompensated work. 

Rosenbaum invited the panelists to discuss how they are responding to these immense structural pressures through organizing, union building, and transnational bargaining and to describe their visions of a more just and equitable global economy. 

The resulting discussion provided crucial perspectives on the struggles of workers across different settings—from garment factories in the United States and Myanmar to fishing vessels in Taiwan to cotton mills in Uzbekistan to banana plantations in Honduras—and offered an important gendered lens on the future of organizing even in difficult sectors.  

Julie Su, United States Deputy Secretary of Labor, United States Department of Labor and former Secretary for the California Labor and Workforce Development AgencyEarly in her career as a staff attorney and later litigation director at Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Los Angeles (formerly the Asian Pacific American Legal Center), Julie Su led a team that sued the captors and the manufacturers and retailers at the top of the supply chain who benefited from the forced labor in El Monte. 

She has written how this experience shaped her own direction and efforts to build worker rights, voice, and agency. “When I came into government—first in California at the state level and now working for President Biden and Secretary Walsh at the Department of Labor—I promised myself and the workers I knew that their voices would always be heard in the halls of power,” Su said. “You often hear [people in] government say that we can’t do these things because workers are too afraid, but what I’ve learned from a lifetime of working alongside low-wage workers (who everybody expects just to keep their heads down and know their place) is that it’s not their fears that hold us back; it’s the fears of those in power to really step up, to support and join the campaigns, and to do what’s right. I take that responsibility of being in this position now very seriously and in an administration that has been very clear that we need to re-center our economy, focus on real equity and justice, and build back better—which means building back with worker well-being at the heart of everything we do.” 

Ma Moe Sandar Myint, Chairwoman of the Federation of Garment Workers Myanmar (FGWM), Myanmar.  Ma Moe Sandar Myint is a union organizer and former garment worker who has led more than 20 pro-democracy protests since the military takeover of Myanmar on February 1, 2021, including during the February 22 general strike. Myint explained, “Our vision is for Myanmar to be able to restore democracy and for every worker in Myanmar to enjoy a free, fair, and good workplace and to get a living wage. Also, we envision that labor laws that can protect the workers and are written with the participation of the workers can be enacted.”

Allison Lee (Lee Li Hua) Secretary-General, Yilan Migrant Fishermen Union (YMFU), Taiwan. Allison is the co-founder of Taiwan’s first labor union composed of and led by foreign workers and is a leading voice in demanding stronger protections for fishing crew members and accountability for human traffickers. “To me, everyone should be treated equally, regardless of their race, occupation, or class,” Lee said. “I believe workers should have a certain dignity. They should be treated equally—be it their wage or overtime pay, working period or resting period, if they live on-shore or live on boats. All of these conditions need to be set, and they should be very fair and dignified. This is why I want to advocate for [workers] and to fight for them.”

Roza Agaydarova Founder of Adolat Sari Olg’a (Onward Toward Justice), Uzbekistan. Roza Agaydarova, from Syrdarya region, Uzbekistan, is an organizer who was fired from her job at a cotton plantation and spinning mill after reporting concerns about financial irregularities and possible corruption. In January 2021, she successfully sued for reinstatement, and in March 2021, Roza led the formation of the first democratic union election in Uzbekistan’s history, organizing more than 200 workers at Indorama.  “I hope that in the future [our union work] will benefit everyone, not just the workers, but also our communities and our society in general. Maybe people will become more freedom-loving and will want to protect their own rights,” Agaydarova said.

Iris Munguia, Secretaria de la Mujer (Secretary of Women) Federación Sindical Agrícola (Federation of Industrial Agriculture Unions) (FESTAGRO), Honduras. In addition to her work with FESTAGRO, Iris is the former Coordinator of COLSIBA – the Coordinating Body of Latin American Banana and Agro-industrial Unions, a coalition of unions representing 55,000 workers across eight countries, the largest transnational federation of private-sector unions in the Americas. “As union women and union leaders, the only way to improve the labor conditions of female and male workers is through the unions and through collective bargaining. It’s not the same thing as not having a union; the conditions in the agricultural sector are terrible. That’s why my dream is to see in my country that there is no child labor or forced  migration overseas, and the only way to stop migration is with good working conditions.” 

The event ended with closing remarks by GLJ-ILRF Deputy Director, Valery Alzaga who reiterated GLJ-ILRF’s commitment to continue researching strategies to hold corporations accountable and investing in organizing and women’s leadership to make trade fairer.