The International Labor Rights Forum (ILRF) and Global Labor Justice (GLJ) are merging in a move aimed a providing greater strategic capacity, support, and momentum for workers.
The partnership, the two say, is coming together “at a critical time”, as, due to the global pandemic, “workers are simultaneously more isolated and connected than ever before”.
“At a time when state and corporate responses leave workers around the world in crisis — locked into dangerous working conditions or locked out of jobs with essential wages and benefits — it is clear we must work together to build durable transnational alliances that advance a new strategic vision with labour and human rights in the foreground.
“Progressive economy efforts can no longer be seen as a parochial, national issue. Transnational movements and strategic campaigns are fundamental to a future that includes decent work, development, and democracy in the US and around the world. Together we will strengthen the force behind these efforts by providing greater strategic capacity, support, and momentum.”
The Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent responses from employers, corporate actors and governments have had a catastrophic effect on the health and livelihoods of more than 150m workers in global supply chains, the two organisations add.
“Workers have been left to struggle against vast structural inequalities, with women workers being disproportionately affected by this crisis. Yet, a gender lens on global worker issues has been largely absent from employer and government responses. Migrant workers have also been stranded—both at home and in destination countries— ignored and left out of recovery and repatriation programs and used politically to drum up nationalism and xenophobia.”
The merger will allow the two to use their expertise in campaigning for a living wage for all and considering ways to eliminate gender-based violence and harassment in the workplace.
“We will use expanded research, legal, and policy capacities to analyse global production networks, global financialisation and labour migration, and converge sharp strategies to support transnational campaigns. With our combined networks, GLJ and ILRF will be an important bridge between national and regional worker movements organising for change along global axes and across borders.
“As we join forces, GLJ-ILRF renews our commitment to bring strategic capacity to transnational organising efforts built along the levers of the global economy. And as our shared name highlights, we will centre labour, especially freedom of association, and collective bargaining in existing and new innovative forms.
“We are at a critical juncture. As the pandemic forces the restructuring of global value chains and labour and financial markets, GLJ-ILRF will continue to support workers organising for power and hold states, employers, multinationals, and their investors accountable.”