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Transnational corporations now roam the world to find the cheapest and most vulnerable workers. The people who stitch together our jeans and assemble our CD-players are mostly young women in Central America, Mexico, Bangladesh, China and other poor nations, many working 12 to 14-hour days for pennies an hour. The lack of accountability on the part of our U.S. corporations--now operating all over the world, and the resulting dehumanization of this new global workforce is emerging as the overwhelming moral crisis of the 21st century. The struggle for rule of law in the global economy--to ensure respect for the fundamental rights of the millions of workers producing goods for the U.S. market--has become the great new civil rights movement of our time.

The mission of the National Labor Committee is to help defend the human rights of workers in the global economy. The NLC investigates and exposes human and labor rights abuses committed by U.S. companies producing goods in the developing world. We undertake public education, research and popular campaigns that empower U.S. citizens to support the efforts of workers to learn and defend their rights. As they fight for the right to work in dignity, in healthy and safe workplaces and to earn a living wage, we will work with them to provide international visibility and backing for their efforts--and to press for international legal frameworks with effective enforcement mechanisms that will help create a space where fundamental internationally recognized worker rights can be assured.

The NLC's work is helping to coalesce a new and diverse coalition that includes religious, labor, women's, student, civil rights, solidarity, policy and grassroots groups to catalyze popular campaigns based on our original research to promote worker rights and pressure companies to end human and labor abuses. With a database of over 22,000 organizations and individuals, we serve as an information center, distributing our literature and videos. In just the last few years the NLC has:

  • Helped bring massive and widespread media coverage to worker and human rights issues, raising them to a national level of public debate
  • Established groundbreaking models for independent monitoring of factories by local human rights and religious groups
  • Successfully pressured dozens of companies - including the Gap, Kathie Lee Gifford/Wal-Mart, and the Walt Disney Company - to improve conditions in supplier plants and to respect human and worker rights

The National Labor Committee views worker rights in the global economy as indivisible and inalienable human rights and we believe that now is the time to secure them for all on the planet.


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