Blog: Apparel

"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

Wal-Mart claims advancement in Ethical Standards Program; Events in the Phillipines Prove Otherwise

Workers at a garment
factory in the Philippines would likely be amazed to learn that the
“enhancements” Wal-Mart made to its Ethical Standards program include a
formal recognition of the right to join trade unions and bargain
collectively.  Chong Won Fashions, Inc. is located in the Cavite Export
Processing Zone, a special economic region established by the
government where already weak Filipino labor laws are watered down even

Changing the World, One Chocolate Bar at a Time

ILRF has had the great privilege of participating in many, many
victories over the past two decades, including the first industry-wide
initiatives to tackle child labor through the Foul Ball campaign on
soccer balls, and our work to establish the Rugmark Foundation;
legislative victories in the form of new worker rights provisions in
the Generalized System of Preferences, the investment guarantees of the
Overseas Private Investment Corporation, and amendments to the Tariff

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