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WELCOME TO THE ARCHIVE (1994-2014) OF THE MAQUILA SOLIDARITY NETWORK. For current information on our ongoing work on the living wage, women's labour rights, freedom of association, corporate accountability and Bangladesh fire and safety, please visit our new website, launched in October, 2015: www.maquilasolidarity.org

Strengthening Southern Voices - 2013 Highlights

May 9, 2014

MSN works with Southern partners to strengthen their capacity to document worker rights abuses and effectively engage with and pressure companies and government to respect worker rights.

Some 2013 highlights:

  • Freedom of Association Training Sessions

    After many months of discussions between Levi’s, MSN and our partner Colectivo Raiz about the next step in a corrective action plan to address freedom of association (FoA) violations at a Levi’s supplier factory in Aguascalientes, Mexico, in September the director of the Guatemalan independent monitoring organization COVERCO spent a week in the factory providing FoA training to 40% of the workforce. Training for all line supervisors had taken place in April. The trainings raised the awareness of workers and management personnel on their rights and responsibilities regarding freedom of association. This was precedent-setting in Mexico and is an experience MSN is working to build on. 

  • Building Women's Leadership and Combating Gender-based Discrimination

On May 22-24, MSN organized and facilitated a regional workshop for Central American women labour rights activists on how to effectively engage with brands. The workshop was entitled “Women, Brands and Labour Rights: how and when do we engage with brands?” Thirty women leaders from 17 women’s and trade union organizations in Central America and Mexico participated in the three-day workshop in San Salvador, El Salvador. They shared their experiences in attempting to engage with and/or campaign against brands, learned about experiences in other countries and regions, and took part in exercises around four hypothetical cases of labour rights violations that included role plays on meetings with “brand representatives” portrayed by some of the workshop participants. 

  • Replicating and Adapting the Training Workshop

Through the process of preparing for the May workshop, MSN developed a methodology and produced a kit of resource materials that we and our parnter groups have been using in other workshops. The Mexican Jesuit-sponsored labour rights group CEREAL-Guadalajara adapted the workshop methodology and materials for their own workshop with workers in the electronics sector in September, and a MSN staff person helped facilitate that workshop. As well, MSN facilitated a training workshop for representatives of two Peruvian labour federations on how to more effectively engage with brands. That workshop was held one day prior to a dialogue meeting between the federations and two US apparel brands sourcing from Peru (Read more about MSN's advocacy work in Peru).

 

Next 2013 Highlights: Facilitating South-South Exchange

 

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