In the News

Pakistani children go from making to playing with soccer balls

Associated Press Worldstream

By Paul Garwood

Twelve-year-old Adnan Nazir spent three years working, literally, until his fingers bled from hand-stitching footballs that the world's soccer elite prefer.

But on a recent sweltering day, he got to play with one of these balls for the first time in a team of other boys who, like Nazir, were taken from sweatshops where they had worked and enrolled in schools as part of a U.N.-led project against child labor.

Democrats Mark DeLay's Exit by Targeting Island Manufacturers

LA Times

The Texas Republican had blocked earlier efforts to raise wages in the Northern Marianas, reportedly on lobbyist Jack Abramoff's behalf.

By Walter F. Roche

WASHINGTON — Billing it as a fitting "going-away present" for Rep. Tom DeLay (R-Texas), three Democratic House members Wednesday filed a bill to raise the minimum wage in the Northern Marianas and tighten immigration standards for the U.S. territory, which critics say has become a haven for apparel industry sweatshops.

In Praise of the Maligned Sweatshop

The New York Times

By Nicholas D. Kristof


Africa desperately needs Western help in the form of schools, clinics and sweatshops.

Oops, don't spill your coffee. We in the West mostly despise sweatshops as exploiters of the poor, while the poor themselves tend to see sweatshops as opportunities.

On a street here in the capital of Namibia, in the southwestern corner of Africa, I spoke to a group of young men who were trying to get hired as day laborers on construction sites.

Wal-Mart blocking union in Ghana

UNI Global Union

The long arm of Wal-Mart has reached Africa and threatens union representation in a garment supplier in Ghana.

UNI affiliate ICU was well advanced with organising and winning recognition for 400 garment workers in Accra when Wal-Mart intervened.

Ghana's fast growing garment industry has become part of the global supply chain to Wal-Mart - the world's biggest retailer that is viciously anti-union on its home base in the United States and Canada.