Panel Discussion on the International Right to Strike

12:30 p.m. In recognition of International Human Rights Day, the AFL-CIO hosts a panel discussion with Jeff Vogt, lead author of The Right to Strike in International Law, and two workers who recently participated in area strikes.
December 9, 2019

815 16th St. NW
Washington, DC 20006


Jeff Vogt
Director, Rule of Law Program, Solidarity Center

Winston Nichols
WMATA bus driver and strike leader with Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 689

Vanessa Banks
UAW Local 1590 president and strike leader at GM’s Martinsburg, West Virginia, facility


Cathy Feingold@CathyFeingold
Director of International Department, AFL-CIO


Workers around the United States have been striking to fight inequality in all kinds of workplaces and all kinds of communities. Strikes have continued to trend, with public- and private-sector workers striking as a supposedly strong economy completes a 10-year run without sharing gains with most workers.

Based on deep legal research, Vogt’s study concludes that the right to strike does have international protection. Indeed, workers in the United States and elsewhere have been exercising that right more and more frequently as inequality spikes and governments fail to act. But the existence of the international right to strike doesn’t mean workers are always able to strike without running risks and paying consequences. This panel discussion will dig into not only the contradictions between American labor law and international labor standards, but how the American government and employers attempt to respect international norms—and what this means for striking workers on the ground.