In the News

Activist 'beaten' after BBC story

BBC News
11/11/2009

An Uzbek rights activist has said he was beaten up after helping the BBC investigate the use of child labour in Uzbekistan's cotton industry.

Bakhtiyar Hamrayev said he was attacked within hours of the story appearing on the BBC News website and radio.

The report found that children as young as 11 were being taken out of school to help pick the cotton harvest.

The government pledged to stop using child labour last year after some Western firms boycotted Uzbek cotton.

Business Aims to Relax Bans on Products Made with Child & Slave Labor

Open Left
11/10/2009

By David Sirota

We've seen corporations use "free trade" agreements to quietly camouflage their push for exploitable labor in broader arguments about globalization. What we haven't seen is corporate special interests openly push for U.S. regulators to openly allow companies to sell goods made with child and slave labor...until now.

Check out this report from Inside U.S. Trade (no link- subscription required) - it's straight from the I Sh*t You Not File:

Sweatshop purchasing law debated

The Pittsfield Gazette
11/10/2009

Regulating conditions of workers who create city-purchased garments should not be accomplished through an ordinance, several city councilors stated this week.

During a Monday meeting of the ordinances & rules subcommittee, a proposed “sweatshop” law detoured back to the city solicitor for a makeover into a less formal “policy.”

The “sweatshop” initiative — based on laws enacted in other municipalities — was first proposed locally by Rinaldo Del Gallo III. Liana Foxvog, an activist supporting such laws, has travelled to Pittsfield to promote the discussion...

Business Groups Wary Of Labor Provisions In Finance Customs Bill

Inside U.S. Trade
11/06/2009

By Jamie Strawbridge

Business groups are worried by the potential effects of provisions banning the import of all goods made with convict labor, forced labor, or forced or indentured child labor that were included in a customs bill sponsored by Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) and Ranking Member Charles Grassley (R-IA).

“Reverse Trick-or-Treaters” Deliver Fair Trade Chocolate

Worldwatch Institute
11/02/2009

By Ben Block

..."One of the concerns we've seen is that some of the activities children are involved in are inappropriate to their age: carrying heavy loads, using machetes on farms," said Bill Guyton, president of the World Cocoa Foundation, a developer of several industry-supported training sessions in cocoa-growing regions of Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Americas. "Through farmer field schools, we explain to parents why activities are dangerous to young people."

Shopping you can feel good about: Buying the union label

SEIU Blog
11/02/2009

Many consumers assume that if a car is "American-made," it must have been built by union-represented workers. Not true. The UAW has prepared a guide to provide information for consumers who want to purchase vehicles produced by workers who enjoy the benefits and protections of a union contract. The 2010 list includes cars, trucks, pickups, vans, SUVs and crossovers from U.S., European and Asian-based carmakers. 

Liberian study finds US rubber company polluting

Associated Press
10/29/2009

By Jonathan Paye-Layleh

Liberia's government says waste products from the American-owned Firestone Rubber Plantation Company are polluting nearby creeks.

Firestone spokesman Rufus Karmoh said Thursday that Firestone will continue to work with the country's Environmental Protection Agency to address the recommendations in the government's report. He declined to comment further.

Firestone in Liberia 'pollution'

BBC News
10/29/2009

An investigation by the government in Liberia has concluded that the Firestone Rubber Plantation Company has polluted local water sources.

The three-month investigation found that a plant south-east of the capital Monrovia was responsible for high levels of orthophosphate in creeks.

The report called on Firestone to improve its waste treatment facility.

Firestone said it believed it fully complied with environmental law and its waste water was not harmful to health.

Sample testing

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