Ralph Nader Remains a Friend of Labor

Still, Nader remains unique to the Democratic contenders for the
labor issues he is persistent about addressing – issues that seem to be
off-limits for the Democratic Party. For example, none of the other
candidates will talk about repealing anti-union laws like Taft-Hartley,
instituting a tax on Wall Street securities speculation and cracking
down on corporate welfare. These often marginalized issues should be
seen as critical to the interests of the labor movement and the fact
that only a candidate outside of the Republican-Democratic fold will
raise these issues should give some pause about the limits of the
Democrats’ labor rights credentials. There is something systemic about

Big Tobacco in Malawi

Kirana was eight years old when he first went to work in the fields.
Estate owners transported him and his parents from their home village,
Mulanje, along with 45 other families. The truck journey covered more
than 1,000 kilometers and ended in the tobacco fields in Rumphi in northern Malawi.

mother, Jane Kapito, 45, says the family left home seeking a better
life. “Four years later, my whole family is still struggling with
poverty. My son has to work as hard as everyone else if we have to
afford the basic necessities. The money that my husband and I receive
from the tobacco estate is not enough,” she says.

Rejecting Paternalism in Africa?

Bush will end his trip by spending a
few hours in Liberia. There he will try to cast
himself in the role of the compassionate conservative who successfully
intervened in Liberia’s long
civil war, thus heralding in a shining new democracy led by Africa’s first democratically-elected female president. In
his February 14 press conference, Bush celebrated increasing private capital
flows to sub-Saharan Africa. But the workers
supposedly benefiting from foreign private investment in Liberia
might have a different perspective.

Small-scale farmer coffee co-operative in solidarity with landless farm workers

Malnutrition throughout the country was high and 14 children died in 2002, literally from
lack of food.  The Farmworkers Association (ATC) organized a march from Matagalpa 100 miles to the capital, Managua, to demand a solution from the government.  For several long weeks, the workers marched under the hot sun, camping along the road and occasionally stopping traffic on the Pan American highway.  They refused to quit until the government agreed to negotiate solutions to their demands for food, work, credit and land.

For our benefit, but at what cost?

Below is the editor's note on the series by Rick Thames.  Click here to read more.

Poultry series exposes a new, silent subclass Neglect of workers has ugly precedent in Carolinas history

Today we ask you to join us for a six-day series on the plight of Carolinas workers who put America's most popular meat on the table.

These workers -- about 28,000 of them in the Carolinas -- process chicken and turkey in all its forms. Whole birds, fillets, nuggets, slices, cubes, sausage and even hot dogs.

It may surprise you to learn that most of the workers speak Spanish. Many of them entered the country illegally.

Bridgestone's Bad Behavior Around the World

This past Tuesday (February 12th), Bridgestone announced that after an internal review, it had discovered that its hose division gave inappropriate payments (also known as bribes) to foreign agents to secure contracts.  The names and locations of the foreign agents who received the payments have not been released.  The internal review took place in connection with an ongoing investigation of Bridgestone launched by the U.S. Department of Justice, the European Commission and Japan's Fair Trade Commission.  Bridgestone said that it will stop taking new orders for its hose division.  Last May, U.S.

Valentine’s Day preparedness, Part 1: flowers whose ethics don’t stink

Only within the past couple of years have I been made aware of these
ethical considerations. Many people, I think, have no idea. And the
biggest U.S. company in the cut-flower industry, FTD, isn’t helping.

If you visit, you’ll see that it does have an
“Eco-Friendly” product category. But it looks like nothing more than
greenwashing to me. Emblazoned across the webpage is a logo that features a recycling logo and the words “Go Green Living,” along with this meaningless copy:

Why do immigrants come to the US?

"Because in the last 15 years, Mexico's longstanding system of sustaining its huge population of poor citizens (including small self-sufficient farms, jobs in state-owned industries and subsidies for such essentials as tortillas) has been scuttled at the insistence of U.S. banks, corporations, government officials and "free market" ideologues. In the name of "modernizing" the Mexican economy, such giants as Citigroup, Wal-Mart, Tyson Foods and GE -in cahoots with the plutocrats and oligarchs of Mexico -have laid waste to that country's grass-roots economy, destroying the already-meager livelihoods of millions.


Search form