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DoL awards $4.7 mn to strengthen benefits of Intl trade for workers

14
Oct '08
The U.S. Department of Labor announced the award of $4,610,000 in funding to promote worker rights initiatives and more than $115,000 to study the employment effects of trade in services.

"The goal of these grants and contracts is to create a more stable and secure international economic system in which all workers can achieve greater economic security, share in the benefits of increased international trade, and have safer and healthier workplaces where basic rights are respected and protected," said Deputy Undersecretary for International
Affairs Charlotte (Charlie) Ponticelli.

The grants and contracts will support the department's work in two key areas of labor and international trade: strengthening worker rights and assessing the employment impacts of international trade. The department's Bureau of International Affairs (ILAB) will manage the grants and contracts.

The worker rights projects will take place in Haiti, Afghanistan, Tanzania and Colombia. In Haiti, the project will focus on monitoring and reporting on working conditions in the garment sector, and compliance with national laws and international labor standards. The primary objective of the project in Afghanistan is to increase knowledge and awareness of internationally-recognized core labor standards and labor law among judges, workers and employers.

The goals for Tanzania are to increase knowledge among employers and workers of their rights, obligations and the services available to them under national law in selected communities. Additionally, the Tanzania project seeks to improve the labor inspection system, and Tanzania's ability to collect and analyze labor market information. The Colombia project will focus on enhancing the skills of Colombian trade union leaders.

The Department of Labor will also fund research on international trade in services that will help workers gain a better understanding of how globalization of service providers affects workers in U.S. service industries. The research will use innovative methods to examine the relationship between U.S. trade in services and the employment patterns and labor compensation of U.S.

service workers. The knowledge gained through these studies will contribute greatly to efforts to assess employment impacts of trade, and the goal of achieving a well prepared and competitive workforce.

U.S. Department of Labor


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