Workers' rights

Millions of workers around the world suffer poverty wages, appalling working conditions and exploitation. This exploitation is a result of the globalised capitalist system: the race for higher profits and lower costs.

We know poverty is political and the decisions made by governments, corporations and other elites are root cause of poverty and injustice.

War on Want works in partnership with grassroots social movements, trade unions and workers’ organisations in the struggle for workers’ rights.

Sweatshops: supply chain exploitation

The continuing exploitation of women in garment factories across the world is a damning indictment of the global economic system.

Women garment workers remain at the bottom of the supply chain, working long hours and denied basic rights.  In response to public anger at the continuing exploitation of workers in their supply chains, these companies claim that they have taken action to address the problems.

Yet the 'corporate social responsibility' programmes of British retailers have failed to improve the situation facing workers in garment factories across the world.  Yet women workers are fighting back - it is they who are winning their right to decent jobs and dignity. Take action.

Market traders and street vendors

Market traders and street vendors, peddling everything from food and clothes to handicrafts and books, are now a visible feature of city life across sub-Saharan Africa.

They work long hours with no guarantee of making a sale. They face harassment by the police, who force them to pay bribes to keep trading or confiscate their stock. This wipes out a trader’s business, making it nearly impossible to buy new goods and start over.

In the eyes of the government this is not real ‘work’. Informal workers account for 1.8 billion of the world’s population. In sub-Saharan Africa, 7 out of 10 people are involved in informal work – the majority are women. They invariably live in informal shack settlements in and around urban centres.

Precarious work

More and more workers in the UK find themselves on precarious contracts, unable to plan their lives or support their families as their hours and schedules are unpredictable.

Precarious contracts are a recipe for insecurity and exploitation. With bosses holding all the power, workers are too afraid of speaking out for fear of losing their job.

Right now migrant workers across the UK face racism, abuse and exploitation. As the UK labour market moves towards lower paid, less secure and more exploitative forms of employment, migrants in search of work find themselves increasingly vulnerable. Take action.

Living wage

The right to be paid a living wage is a basic entitlement of all working people the world over, whether they work in the public or private sectors, in the global South or North.

The living wage differs from statutory minimum wages in that it is calculated according to workers’ needs, not the demands of the labour market.

A living wage ensures that working people can earn enough to meet all their daily expenses and have some discretionary income left over to invest in their own or their family’s future. Find out more.

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Latest news

The government played the public for fools, and lost

28 June 2017 - 1:30pm

War on Want in Red Pepper. The recent High Court ruling against the government proves that Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) tactics are totally legitimate. They are legal ways to hold government and companies to account, and they are being fought so hard because they are so effective.

Read more

Thousands take on the fight for decent housing in South Africa

27 June 2017 - 4:15pm

Close to ten thousand shack dwellers and people living in informal housing took to the streets of Durban to protest against state sanctioned violence against them. The protest, held yesterday, was to draw attention to the fact that shack dwellers, hostel dwellers and those living in squalid government housing are being killed during violent eviction clashes with police and anti-land invasion units. 

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The government played the public for fools, and lost. https://t.co/VNURnfX8as from @redpeppermag @WaronWant #BDShttps://t.co/qyGdq6JkCS 12 hours 36 min ago
A decade under siege: Gaza health sector nears collapse @AJEnglish https://t.co/4NHyAiJP90 #StopArmingIsrael 13 hours 21 min ago
RT @EC_magazine: 'When it comes to taking on abusive regimes, it is clear that local council divestment works' https://t.co/LmzcPw1G6r http… 1 day 13 hours ago