The M-POWER Initiative - a key deliverable for the Biden-Harris Administration’s Summit for Democracy - will be the largest commitment by the U.S. Government to advance workplace democracy and support trade union rights in the global economy. M-POWER will align with the goals of the White House Task Force on Worker Organizing and Empowerment and will bring together labor stakeholders in global collaboration. It will include a commitment by the U.S. Department of Labor, U.S. Agency for International Development and U.S. Department of State to invest more than $120 million over two years for innovative technical assistance to empower workers and strengthen worker voice.
Strong labor movements are essential for vibrant functioning democracies. Free, independent and democratic trade unions provide workers a voice in the political system, in the community and in the workplace. This voice helps workers defend their rights and advance their interests, improve wages and working conditions, and inculcate democratic values and practices at work, while resisting authoritarianism and countering corruption and economic inequality. Currently, workers and their organizations face challenges, including legal obstacles and violence in the exercise of their fundamental rights. For global democracy to thrive, the international community must strengthen the capacity of democratic worker organizations, particularly in those countries where worker rights and democratic values are under threat.
The M-POWER initiative will bring together like-minded governments, worker organizations and labor stakeholders to:
- strengthen free and independent trade unions;
- support labor law reform and enforcement;
- promote worker organizing and the innovative use of collective bargaining to improve livelihoods; and
- extend labor law coverage to protect workers in vulnerable, low-wage employment and those sectors excluded from labor law protection, particularly in the informal economy.
This initiative will fuse research, targeted country-level and regional technical assistance and cooperation interventions and strategic communications, and will welcome participant countries committed to providing a supportive environment for these foundational rights and civil liberties to thrive. The initiative will seek additional donors, including governments, philanthropic organizations and international organizations, and will convene a range of partners to coordinate efforts, review progress on commitments and drive action. Close involvement from trade union organizations and labor stakeholders - including the International Trade Union Confederation, the AFL-CIO, and the Solidarity Center - will guide and shape the initiative.