Common Frontiers is a working group that was established when Mexico was brought into negotiations to form NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement. It quickly began to share research and strategies and common platforms back and forth with similar labour and community group networks in the US, Quebec and Mexico. When it became evident that a 34 country Free Trade Area of the Americas was on the bargaining table, Common Frontiers and the other networks in North America began to make contacts with their counterparts further south and quickly built up strong working links with networks in Brazil, Argentina, Chile, etc. Since the victory against the FTAA, Common Frontiers has continued to lobby strongly against bilateral agreements like the recently signed agreement with Colombia. It is also working on issues related to the fall out from free trade, or better said, from the unregulated foreign investment that free trade has spawned, creating a naked grab for resources and markets that many refer to as re-colonization.
- Research and lobbying on bilateral trade agreements
- Monitoring unregulated mining and energy investments
- Networking with Hemispheric Social Alliances partners
CISO - International Labour Solidarity Centre
The Quebec Coalition against Sweatshops (CQCAM) was created by the Quebec Federation of Labour in 2003 in response to a growing concern from labour, non-for-profit organizations and student organizations about the social and economic impact of sweatshops in Canada and other parts of the world. The coalition is formed by approximately 30 labour, non-for-profit and student organizations from all over Quebec. CISO (International Centre for Labour Solidarity) assumed the responsibility of its coordination
CQCAM's work in the past couple of years has focused in promoting national responsible procurement policies.
- producing a documentary on the importance of respecting labour rights as a foundation of sustainable development
- carrying out research to evaluate responsible procurement policies aimed at highlighting organizations that have adopted this kind of policy
- laying out the criteria and motivating other private and public institutions to adopt responsible procurement policies
- develop a political campaign at the provincial and municipal level
- form a network for sharing information, tools and experiences.
MSN - Maquila Solidarity Network
The Maquila Solidarity Network (MSN) is a Toronto-based labour and women's rights organization that promotes corporate accountability and decent wages and working conditions for workers in global supply chains, the vast majority of whom are women. Its fundamental objective is to support workers' struggles so that they can exercise their rights and improve their conditions. MSN's work has a particular focus on women's struggle for equality and their gender-specific problems and needs.
MSN works in Mexico, Central America and Asia with partner organizations in building North-South and South-South alliances, promoting and defending labour and women's rights and corporate accountability. Due to the vanishing textile sector, MSN is looking at expanding this work into other sectors such as electronics and auto-parts.
MSN also works with European counterparts, Clean Clothes Campaign (Europe), Labour Behind the Label (UK) and with the ITGLWF, on mitigating the impact of plant closures and layoffs and pressing companies to demand fair labour conditions from supply chains. It collaborates with these partners in the Play Fair Campaign to insure sportswear companies commit to manufacturing sportswear in fair labour conditions.
In Canada, it works through the Ethical Trading Action Group on specific campaigns such as the Vancouver Olympics, No-Sweat Campaign and the Campaign against Protection Contracts.
MSN monitors and provides industry analyses on trends and critical issues related to economic justice, workers' rights and corporate accountability.