Putting a Lid on Big Boxes

Years of
research studies and the personal experiences of affected communities have
clearly demonstrated that large supermarkets and big box stores are bad for
communities, workers and the environment. The continued expansion of large-scale
retail outlets leads to the closure of local businesses and the destruction of
more jobs than the new stores create. The profits that the big box corporations
earn from their new market share get funneled straight to their national
headquarters, rather than staying in communities to help infrastructure and
local public programs grow.

NFL's Foul Play

The International Labor Rights Forum sent a letter to the NFL requesting more information on the NFL's decision and asking for a meeting, but the NFL's response showed a lack of interest in their marketing partner's abusive practices in Liberia.  As the NFL says, "Bridgestone Americas has assured us that it remains committed to improving the lives of its workers and their communities in Liberia and is an important force for progress in the country's rebuilding efforts."

The Hidden Costs of Free Trade

Some Democrats are supporting this effort because President Alan
Garcia of Peru has agreed to improve some international labor laws with
presidential decrees. But Peruvian labor leaders think this is
insufficient and will not protect the rights of the majority of people,
75 percent of whom work in the informal sector of the economy.

Kids in Cotton Fields

The International Labor Rights Forum has been working to stop child labor in the cotton industry for years.  For more information and to watch more videos about abuses in Uzbekistan's cotton industry, click here (or you can check out the favorite videos on our YouTube station).  You can also read the report by the Environmental Justice Foundation on this issue, titled White Gold: The True Cost of Cotton, here.

390,000 Chinese workers die per year of occupational illnesses

The Salt Lake Tribune reported that of the 200 million (less than 1 in
4) workers in China who are routinely exposed to toxic chemicals and
life-threatening diseases in factories, 390,000 died in 2005. China's
Ministry of Health reported that more than 16 million enterprises in
China have been subjecting workers to high, poisonous levels of toxic

GAP found using child labor

No longer is it a news story when women are sexually harassed in a
factory.  No longer is it a news story where workers are fired for
trying to form a union.  At ILRF we are contacted by our partners all
the time and yet are at a loss for what's next.  Companies have been
able to hide behind voluntary initiatives and fantastic PR machines
that so many believe.  It's a constant struggle for the media and
consumers to realize just how prevalent sweatshops are still today.

ILRF Critiques Wal-Mart's Sourcing Practices

“To effectively address these flaws, Wal-Mart must reorganize its
auditing program to enable auditors to fully investigate factories and
gain a realistic depiction of operations.  Further, Wal-Mart needs to
communicate and engage with all levels of the supply chain directly,
from workers to suppliers, and take responsibility for its powerful
role in the production process,” as stated in the report.


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