Blog: November 2010

Labor Day Protest Sparks Solidarity Among Longshoremen Workers Against Del Monte

ILA Local 1291 reached out to the International Dockworkers Council, the West Coast Longshore Workers, and the International Transport Workers Federation, using their support to help demand that Del Monte continue to use the union workers.  This is essential because if Del Monte is allowed to turn to cheaper labor with no benefits now, nothing will stop them from doing it at other Locals.  “This is just the first step,” Butler said.  “If Del Monte succeeds here, it sends a ripple effect to other banana shippers, on the West coast and around the world.”

Attack on Alien Tort Statute Threatens Future of International Human Rights

The court’s decision in Kiobel v. Royal Dutch, which was widely welcomed by multinationals, undermines the original 1789 law aimed at upholding universally accepted and obligatory norms of human rights. By eliminating the binding responsibility of corporations to engage in socially responsible business, it is likely to foster a culture of impunity and a lack of accountability, which in turn will seriously jeopardize the state of human rights around the world. In the past, the ATCA has been successful in addressing irresponsible corporate behavior. The notorious case of Doe v. Unocal, involved charges made by Burmese villagers against MNC Unocal’s involvement in human rights abuses including forced labor, rape and murder.

Fashion Fights Poverty Holds 4th Annual Forum

Fashion Fights Poverty was able to bring to the table panelists from diverse backgrounds.  The participants consisted of Brendan Hurley, the Senior Vice President of Marketing and Communications for Goodwill of Greater Washington; Jeff Goldman, the Executive Director of the Fair Trade Resource Network; Jung Hwa Song, the Asia Pacific Regional Editor for Foreign Policy Digest; Nicki Kurokawa, the Director of Research Analysis for the Winston Group; and Jonathan Jacoby, the Policy and Campaigns Manager for the Private Sector Department at

ILRF's Cocoa Campaign Wins Award

The push for Hershey to support Fair Trade has been made even stronger by other recent company announcement to support certified chocolate. This week, major Australian company Arnott's has agreed to begin using Fair Trade Certified cocoa in its products. Nestle also announced that it would certify its Kit Kat bars in Australia with UTZ Certified, a program that is viewed by many labor advocates as weaker than Fair Trade.

Bangladesh’s New Wage is Still a Poverty Wage

The agreement promises an increase from 1,662.50 taka ($24) per month to 3,000 taka ($43) per month, which may seem like a monumental increase from outside Bangladesh. But in Bangladesh, a worker with a family of average size (4.8 members) who works a typical 10 hour work day will require 11,282 taka per month just to feed herself and her family members. This excludes necessary allowances for rent, transportation, or healthcare.

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