In the News

Striking workers at Liberian rubber plantation clash with police

International Herald Tribune

HARBEL, Liberia: Striking workers at the Firestone Rubber plantation in the West African nation of Liberia clashed with police Friday, and at least six people were wounded, officials said.

Between 6,000 and 8,000 workers at the plantation, which is run by a subsidiary of Japan-based tire giant Bridgestone Corp. and is Liberia's largest employer, have been striking since Tuesday. They are demanding the removal of a top manager, Labor Minister Kofi Woods said.

Major clothing labels criticise Cambodian labour violence

Agence France Presse

Several international clothing manufacturers have demanded Cambodia investigate the recent murder of a top labour leader, saying swift justice was key to their continued presence in the country's key garment sector.

“We are quite concerned about what appears to be a pattern of violence against union leaders in the country,” said a letter received Wednesday from labels Eddie Bauer, Gap, H&M Hennes and Mauritz, Liz Claiborne and Phillips-Van Heusen... 

EPA Confirms Pollution At Firestone

Public Agenda

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says its investigation team sent to Margibi County to probe reports of pollution in the area has returned confirming the report.

According to the head of the EPA, Ben Donnie, his team reported certain level of pollution in the Farmington River and said there was also air pollution in the Firestone area.

Mr. Donnie told journalists that the air in the Firestone area contains the smell of ammonia which he said is dangerous to the eyes.

Panel condemns Wal-Mart's employee care

The Chronicle (Durham, NC)

One-stop shops like Wal-Mart and Target might seem like the best options for college students strapped for cash-but for employees, the low prices offered by such stores might come at a high cost.

Speakers from the Wal-Mart Food and Agricultural Workers Tour talked to students Monday night about the poor working conditions of farms and plants that make products for the superstore.

Several students said the presentation helped them appreciate the work that goes into the products they use every day...  

Foreign Workers Sue U.S. Companies

USA Today

By Alan Gomez

Labor leaders overseas are turning increasingly to an obscure 18th-century law that could for the first time make U.S. companies liable at home for the violent and sometimes murderous actions of their employees around the world.

Several lawsuits alleging violation of the Alien Tort Statute are awaiting trial in federal courts, filed with the help of unions and activist groups in the USA.

One against Geo W. Drummond Ltd. of Alabama alleges the contracting company's subsidiary in Colombia paid death squads to kill labor leaders.