Blog: Apparel

Trade Pressure Used to Support Workers

Philips- Van Heusen plant in Guatemala

The first time Guatemala was placed under review (probation) for eligibility of GSP benefits was in 1992 after US/GLEP (before the name changed to USLEAP) and nine other U.S. human rights, trade union and religious groups filed a worker rights petition with the support of the Guatemalan trade union movement. The AFL-CIO also filed a petition.

"Actually, they treat us like animals"

The discussion of how free trade agreements (FTA) do little to protect
labor rights is especially timely as Congress is debating FTAs with
Peru, Colombia and Panama.  The main sticking point has been labor
provisions in the proposed agreements.  Many Democrats say they won't
agree to the FTAs until language is included which requires countries
to enforce internationally accepted core labor standards and improve
their labor rights conditions.

Edun: "Unions are more of an American structure"

After months of trying to get some answers out of the folks at Edun
about their Code of Conduct, conditions at the factories from which
they source and their position on workers' right to organize, we had
somewhat of a breakthrough today.  Check out the e-mail communication
below with Bridget Russo, the US press contact for Edun (the document
referred to is the vague FAQ page on Edun's website):

Wyclef supports Haiti bill without consideration of impacts on Haitian workers

Pushing for a renewal of trade benefits without a serious look at
the negative impacts these jobs provide is very short sighted.  If
Wyclef was serious about promoting jobs that are good for Haitians, he
would consider a more nuanced approach which would force those that set
up shop in Haiti to also respect freedom of association, safe working
conditions, and a wage that will support a family.  There are currently
factory workers that struggle on a daily basis, and simply renewing the

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