Blog: Living Wage

A World Cup for Workers: Fighting for Labor and Human Rights

In a month FIFA will be making its final city selection for the North American 2026 World Cup which will take place with games in the U.S., Mexico, and Canada. FIFA and the World Cup’s dismal record on human rights, from Qatar to Brazil to South Africa and prioritization of corporate sponsors over communities and workers impacted has tarnished the internationally-beloved game of football. 

H&M’s Hypocrisy: When it comes to brand activism, look at actions, not words

H&M is busy expanding production around the globe, searching for the cheapest possible labor - despite their promises to the contrary. A piece this month exposed labor abuses at the Hawassa Industrial Park in Ethiopia, H&M’s latest sourcing location.

Worker Voice Without Worker Agency Fails Seafood Workers

“Worker voice” is the current buzzword among corporate social responsibility professionals seeking to end labor exploitation in the seafood industry, yet the original meaning of worker voice – in which workers form associations to collectively bargain for better conditions on an equal footing with employers – is nowhere to be found.

It’s Not Too Late, Ivanka

As Ivanka Trump attends the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in India this week, she will speak as a representative of the US government with experience as an entrepreneur, but not as a representative of the apparel company she founded, with wholesale revenues of $47 million and production orders in India and around the globe.  It’s not clear which role, however, is better for helping Ms.

Of Gods and Goblins

This week, as millions of American kids prepare their costumes for the biggest chocolate consumption holiday of the year – Halloween – most are unaware of the 2 million children laboring in West African cocoa fields.  Likely none share industry experts’ worries about the sustainability of cocoa supplies in the world.  Yet cocoa, which has the lofty Latin name, Theo Broma (fruit of the gods), has proven to be one of the most difficult development conundrums for those who advocate for international trade as a path to prosperity for developing nations. 

How Anti-Sweatshop Activists and Unions Made Severance Pay Mandatory

In August last year Iris Montoya came to work at the Rio Garment factory in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, where she had worked as a sewing machine operator for 11 years. At 11 a.m., the factory lights shut off and management escorted the workers outside, locking the doors behind them.

Management announced that the factory was shutting down operations that very day. Panic broke out. Workers were told to go home, barred from retrieving their belongings, and left without their last week’s pay.

Three weeks later, when Montoya went to the hospital for foot surgery, she was denied coverage. Management had been deducting insurance from workers’ paychecks for the past five months but had not been depositing the money into the health care system.

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