A new global network of international union and worker rights lawyers has been formed. While there are associations of such lawyers in some countries and regions, until now there has been no organization that brings them together globally.
The core mission of the International Lawyers Assisting Workers (ILAW) Network is to bring together legal practitioners and scholars in an exchange of ideas and information in order to best represent the rights and interests of workers and their organizations. The Network offers unique opportunities to learn from each other’s experiences and to collaborate and strategize more effectively in all matters pertaining to the protection and expansion of worker rights, including matters that cross national borders.
Under the guidance of an Advisory Board consisting of 20 lawyers from 20 countries, the issue areas that will receive ILAW’s focus initially include global supply chain accountability; the fissured employment relationship; migrant worker rights; the informal economy; employment discrimination in all its forms; bargaining with multinational employers; and trade union rights.
Given the global reach, the online platform (www.ilawnetwork.com) will be the main point of interaction among members, with occasional global and regional conferences as resources allow. The key components of the ILAW website, which are presented in English, Spanish, German, French, and hopefully other languages over time, include:
- An online library for the sharing of relevant materials accessible by subject matter as well as geography;
- A global directory of members’ contact information and areas of expertise;
- A network of chatrooms or listservs to facilitate direct communication among members with similar interests or concerns;
- A news feed site to provide updates on worker rights developments and to announce upcoming events of potential interest;
- A link to an ILAW Network Twitter feed, a forum for webinars, and other educational opportunities.
Membership dues will be necessary to sustain the organization, but have been set at modest levels, and tied to ability to pay. Those interested in joining will be directed to the necessary information on the website.
The ILAW Network is being developed under the auspices of Solidarity Center, a non-profit NGO affiliated with the U.S. labor movement, by its Legal Director, Jeff Vogt ([email protected]) and Solidarity Center of counsel, former AFL-CIO General Counsel, Jon Hiatt ([email protected]). For further information, contact either of them.