International Solidarity

When corporate decisions made half a world away can impact jobs and investments with the speed of keystroke, what choice do working people have but to make alliances across national boundaries? When U.S. politicians are beholden to transnational corporations, what choice do U.S. working people have but to make common cause with workers elsewhere in the world?

As globalization draws the world closer together, workers' rights, wages and working conditions are downsized. Global wages are spiraling downward towards the lowest common denominator — countries where workers make as little as a few dollars a day.

Starting from a longstanding commitment to international solidarity, UE believes that more than ever, unions must act and think globally. A real commitment to international labor solidarity means more than just resolutions and meetings. It requires rank-and-file action.

UE has built relationships with labor organizations in a variety of countries. We've made labor history with our pioneering Strategic Organizing Alliance with the Authentic Labor Front, the Frente Autentico del Trabajo (FAT) in Mexico. And, we continue to build new ways to link workers and their unions across borders. Find out about this important work at our UE International Solidarity Website.


Crossborder Mural Project Documentary Now Available on YouTube

April 6, 2023

Earlier this year, the Chicago-based labor television show Labor Beat posted their 1997 documentary about the cross-border mural project organized by UE and our Mexican partners the Frente Auténtico del Trabajo (FAT) on YouTube. The documentary, which runs approximately half an hour, follows the creation of two labor murals, one at the FAT headquarters in Mexico City, the other at the UE Hall in Chicago.

World of Labor: Half a Million Strike in United Kingdom Despite Attacks on Rights

February 3, 2023

Economic conditions have sent workers in numerous sectors on strike across the United Kingdom for the past several months, culminating in a February 1 strike of over 500,000 workers, including teachers, civil servants, and university and railroad workers. During the day of industrial action, union leaders delivered petitions signed by more than a quarter of a million people demanding that the government withdraw its anti-strike legislation.

UE Plans Return to In-Person International Exchanges in 2023

November 29, 2022

In a “Giving Tuesday” email to supporters of UE’s international solidarity work this morning, UE Director of International Strategies Kari Thompson announced that “In 2023, we are planning to return to in-person member exchanges with workers in other countries, if health conditions continue to allow.” Specifically, Thompson said, UE is making plans for a worker-to-worker exchange with UE’s close allies in Mexico, the Frente Auténtico del Trabajo.

Ontario Workers Defeat Anti-Strike Legislation

November 9, 2022

Earlier this week, workers in Ontario won an inspiring victory against their right-wing government. Premier Doug Ford’s government passed a special bill in an attempt to impose a contract on 55,000 education workers and revoke their right to strike. Those workers went on strike anyway, receiving support from the rest of the province’s labor movement (including important support from UE’s close Canadian ally Unifor), and on Monday the government announced it would withdraw the bill.

Brazilian Election a Victory for Working Class, Democracy

November 2, 2022

On October 30, Brazilian voters elected former metalworkers’ union leader (and former two-term president) Luiz Inácio da Silva, popularly known simply as “Lula,” as president. Lula defeated incumbent president Jair Bolsonaro, a close Trump ally who during his four years in office attacked unions, encouraged violence against opponents, and oversaw massive deforestation of the Amazon rainforests — hastening climate change and putting the entire world at risk.

In a statement released after the victory, the union federation Central Unica dos Trabalhadores (CUT) called the election a “victory of hope” over “fear, coercion and corporate electoral harassment,” and over those who tolerate and encourage “violence as a method of doing politics.”