Blog: December 2008

Hilda Solis Needs a Mandate

Equally to the point,  Labor Secretary
Elaine Chao has kept such a low profile that we doubt many in the US today even
know who she is.  She has been absent
from any serious White House conversations on domestic or international trade
and economic policy.  This, again, has
been intentional; the Bush Administration has never been inclined to suggest
that the Labor Department have a role in such discussions.

Farmworkers are *** Over Under New Guestworker Program

My issues with the new regulations don't take the protectionist bent that others bring up. US farmworkers deserve jobs that pay a living wage and allow workers to unionize along with migrant farmworkers.  Incoming migrant workers are especially in need of work, thanks to the US corporations that dominate our food system, exploit farmworkers abroad and unfairly prevent subsistence farmers from making a living.  Immigrant farmworkers who have been displaced by US farm subsidies and exploited by US corporations such as Wal-Mart, Dole, Del Monte and Nestle who pay poverty wages have no choice but to migrate.

Take action to provide working families in Honduras with something to celebrate this Christmas!

Russell Corporation, the
apparel manufacturer owned by Berkshire Hathaway Corp., the Nebraska-based
investment firm headed by Warren Buffett – world’s wealthiest man,– has been
linked to some of the most egregious violations of workers rights seen in Central America in recent years.

Another Victory: the Coalition of Immokalee Workers and Subway

Throughout their tour of the Northeast, CIW delivered letters to many major supermarkets as well as food distribution companies like Aramark and Sodexho.  On December 4th, the workers visited DC.  ILRF, the RFK Center for Justice and Human Rights and the Institute for Policy Studies co-sponsored a discussion with some of the campaign representatives at SEIU.  It was a great opportunity to celebrate the Subway agreement, learn more about the struggle of agricultural workers in the US DCSafeway

Worker Occupations North and South: A reflection on the Republic occupation and what it means for workers everywhere

An insightful article by Benjamin Dangl compares the Republic occupation to those in Argentina in 2001, during Argentina's financial crisis. He writes, "at a time when politicians have failed to respond appropriately to one of the worst US economic crises in history, the occupation of the Republic Windows and Doors factory is a reminder that desperate times call for fresh approaches to social change."

Who's Corrupt?

Well, since
groups such as “Americans for Free Choice”  and the Chamber of Commerce are so concerned
about corruption, I thought I would help them out by pointing out that in fact,
it’s not the labor unions that are corrupt. It’s their friends in corporate America who
seem to be in the most trouble recently for corruption. And since these
business associations are so interested in pointing out corruption, I thought
we could give them a hand and point out where the real corruption is occurring.

this campaign isn’t about corruption at all? Unless it’s really about trying to
increase profits by attacking working families and unions?)

Workers' Rights Snubbed at MCC Board Meeting -- Colombia and Philippines Selected as Compact Eligible

Furthermore, the Colombian government has attempted to systematically undermine worker rights' by allowing businesses to take advantage of labor subcontracting and outsourcing schemes. Lack of regulation of company run "labor cooperatives" and subcontracting agencies have denied large numbers of workers the right to organize, bargain directly with their employers, and receive other benefits entitled to regular workers. Subcontracted Colombian sugar workers went on strike for 56 days, aiming to gain back their right to bargain collectively.


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