|Native name||Solidarity Center|
|Head union||Shawna Bader-Blau, Executive Director|
|Key people||Richard Trumka (labor leader), Board of Trustees Chair|
|Office location||888 16th Street NW, Suite 400, Washington, D.C. 20006; global field offices|
Its stated mission is to help build a global labor movement by strengthening the economic and political power of workers around the world through effective, independent, and democratic unions.
The AFL-CIO established the Solidarity Center in 1997. The Solidarity Center was created through the consolidation of four labor institutes: the American Institute for Free Labor Development, the Asian-American Free Labor Institute, the African-American Labor Center, and the Free Trade Union Institute. The pre-existing institutes were merged by John Sweeney shortly after he became president of the AFL–CIO.
The AFL-CIO had worked internationally for many decades. With some funding from the OSS and CIA, it had worked to stop Communist movements in Western Europe after World War II. With the 1997 launch of the Solidarity Center, those ties ended.
The Solidarity Center focuses its programs in the following areas:
- Worker & Human Rights
- Trade Union Strengthening
- Informal Economy
- Gender & Equality
- Safety & Health
- Labor Migration & Human Trafficking
- Rule of Law
The Solidarity Center assisted in Haiti's FTZ (Free Trade Zone). When textile manufacturer Grupo M, the Dominican Republic’s largest employer, applied to the International Finance Corporation (the World Bank’s private sector lending arm) for a $20 million loan to open a factory on the Haiti-Dominican border, the Solidarity Center, the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU) and the Dominican Federation of Free Trade Zone Workers (FEDOTRAZONAS) worked together to condition the loan on respect for worker rights.
Over 96% of its funding comes from the United States federal government, mostly through U.S. Aid for International Development (USAID) and the National Endowment for Democracy. The NED distributes grants to four institutes, two associated with economic interests and two with political interests. The Solidary Center is associated with labor and the Center for International Private Enterprise is associated with the Chamber of Commerce. There are two institutes associated with the major U.S. political parties, the International Republican Institute and the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs.[original research?] The open allocation of funding to these institutes has been intended to provide greater transparency to U.S. citizens, as appropriate for a democracy, than did the pre-1980s practice of providing covert funding through the CIA.
The Solidarity Center receives funding from private foundations as well.
The Solidarity Center's main offices are in Washington, D.C. The organization has field offices in roughly 28 countries and programs in approximately 60 countries.
- Lodge, George C. (1962). Spearheads of Democracy: Labor in the Developing Countries Harper & Row for the Council on Foreign Relations: New York. ASIN B0006AY0AU
- American Prospect, "The CIO without the CIA," December 19, 2001
- Solidarity Center, "What We Do"
- NED Resource Summary, U.S. State Department
- "NED How We Work: Applying a multisectoral approach". National Endowment for Democracy. Archived from the original on 12 February 2010. Retrieved 2010-02-20.
- Weinstein, Allen (1991-09-22). "No Strings Attached? (Reprinted)". Washington Post. Retrieved 2010-02-20.
- 2014 Solidarity Center Annual Report
- Solidarity Center, "Who We Are"
- Bollen, Kenneth; Paxton, Pamela; Morishima, Rumi (June 2005). "Assessing international evaluations: An example from USAID’s Democracy and Governance Programs" (PDF). American Journal of Evaluation 26 (2): 189–203. doi:10.1177/1098214005275640. Evaluation performed on behalf of the Social Science Research Council (SSRC), at the request of and with funding from the Strategic and Operational Research Agenda (SORA) of USAID (Office of Democracy and Governance in the Bureau for Democracy, Conflict, and Humanitarian Assistance), according to the National Research Council (2008, p. 28).
- National Research Council, Committee on Evaluation of USAID Democracy Assistance Programs (2008). Goldstone, Jack A, ed. Improving democracy assistance: Building knowledge through evaluations and research. pp. xvi+336. ISBN 978-0-309-11736-4. Individuals can download the complete report (pdf format) for private use.