Published in Devex

By Stephanie Beasley

Four philanthropic organizations, including the Ford Foundation and Open Society Foundations, or OSF, this week joined the Biden administration to formally launch a new initiative to support collective bargaining globally and “prioritize workers rights as core to democracy.”

The funders group, which also includes the U.S.-based Humanity United and Panama’s Fundación Avina, are part of the Biden administration’s Multilateral Partnership for Organizing, Worker Empowerment, and Rights, or M-POWER, which was launched at the U.S. Department of Labor in Washington, D.C., on Thursday.

M-POWER seeks to promote the use of collective bargaining, overhauls of labor laws and enforcement, and “free and independent” trade unions. Those things are fundamental to upholding democracy and preventing the rise of authoritarianism around the world, the foundations said, adding that progress on labor protections has stalled or eroded since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Even before M-POWER’s launch, the foundations had committed nearly $100 million to support workers’ rights this year.

The Ford Foundation

The Ford Foundation is an independent organization working to address inequality and build a future grounded in justice. For more than 85 years, it has supported visionaries on the frontlines of social change worldwide, guided by its mission to strengthen democratic values, reduce poverty and injustice, promote international cooperation, and advance human achievement. Today, with an endowment of $16 billion, the foundation has headquarters in New York and 10 regional offices across Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East.

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