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Remembering Stephen Coats / Recordando a Stephen Coats

It is with great sadness that we post this news.  Stephen Coats, Executive Director of USLEAP, passed away on April 2, 2013.  Stephen was a tremendous friend and a tireless advocate of workers’ rights.  He touched so many people around the world, serving as a leader in building worker solidarity in the Americas.  Stephen’s dedication and humility inspired so many worker rights advocates.  This is a tremendous loss for all.

2012 Wrap Up: Which Chocolate Companies Lead and Which Ones Lag?

First, a look at the funds designated to fight child labor in cocoa. Programs and initiatives that are considered part of the industry commitment must be approved by the CLCCG and must be in line with the Framework of Action, which the companies signed in 2010 (see the table below).

Labels Bershka and Lefties (Inditex), KIK, New Look found on Smart Export site

KIK was sourcing from Tazreen fashions where 112 workers died in a
fire just over 2 months ago, and the same KIK label was also found at at
the Ali Enterprises factory (Pakistan), where nearly 300 workers burned
to death last September.  Inditex and Solo Invest also both sourced
from the notorious Spectrum factory where 64 workers were killed in 2005.

With 7 Workers Dead in Another Preventable Fire, Labor Rights Groups Implore Apparel Brands and Retailers to Sign Fire Safety Agreement

“The recurring fires give us a clear picture that the initiative by
the government and the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters
Association to curb the death toll is too little and too late. The
government, BGMEA, and western retailers need to act rapidly to stop the
killings and to ensure a safe workplace for our workers,” said Kalpona
Akter, Executive Director of the Bangladesh Center for Worker Solidarity.

No Chocolate in the Cocoa Capital of the World

Most groups talked about the need for community
organizations so that local communities can support the local schools and
ensure their children go to school. We visited newly built and refurbished
schools in two communities, both of which reported still needing more space for
all the children who want to go to school. 
In one community we saw several brand new and refurbished
classrooms.  The community was very proud

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