Compassionate in Latin America? Compassionate in New Bedford?

These crimes are often not properly investigated and there
is a general sentiment of government condoned impunity. According to a
Washington Post article, “Labor Rights in Guatemala Aided Little by Trade Deal, the root of the problem is that
employers can manipulate labor inspectors to rule in their favor thus
nullifying the purpose of having inspectors. As conditions worsen in Central America, more will look to the North as a place
to better their lives and the lives of their children.

"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.

Chiquita is bananas!

The AUC is listed by the US State Department as a
terrorist organization and US law clearly states that it is illegal for
any person knowingly to provide material support or resources to an
organization on that list.  The problem is that enforcement of this law
is very weak.  Way back in 2001, four Congressmen sent a letter to
former Attorney General John Ashcroft calling for increased scrutiny of
multinational corporations and their support for armed groups who
threaten human rights activists.  However, Chiquita is just one of many
corporations around the world with ties to paramilitary groups.  This

Stop Firestone on YouTube!

Tim Newman, Campaigns
Assistant, International Labor Rights Fund

Check out a clip from Al Jazeera's show People and Power which gives a great picture of Firestone's abuses on their rubber plantation in Liberia.

After you watch the clips: 1) Add it as a favorite and send it to at least three friends; 2) Add the link to you or Digg; 3) Post the video on your blog or website.  And don't forget to send the new Stop Firestone urgent action letter here!

The report is in two parts:

South Asian March catches trafficker and rescues 2 boys from slavery

04 March 2007, Biratnagar, 10.00 am: Holi is one of the biggest
festivals in both India and Nepal and obviously the children started
playing Holi early in the morning. The celebrations continued amongst
songs and dancing till 11.00 A.M. when the marchers were invited to
play Holi by the Biratnagar Chief Development Officer Mr. Modraj Dotel,
the administrative and judicial head of the district.
After traditional putting of colour, the local organizations Mahila
Adhikar Sushasan Shantiko Laagi, Rajbanshi Samaj Vikas  Samiti, ABC
Nepal, CPC Nepal, Maiti Nepal, Jagaran Nepal, Nepal Aadiwaasi Janjati
Samanvayak Samiti, Viratnagar and others welcomed the marchers. Local

My Wal-Mart story told to many in Oregon and Washington

On Feb 18, 2007, I left Orlando, FL  to join the International Labor
Rights Fund.  Feb 18th marked the first time I was ever on an
airplane.  I have had the pleasure of meeting Beatriz (Betty) Fuentes.
She comes from Colombia.  I have heard her story.  I have had the
chance to connect with Jayaram who comes from Bangalore, India.  I have
also heard his story.  You know its really an experience to be able to
speak out about Wal-Mart concerning how they treat their employees.  It
is also an honor to others speaking out against Wal-Mart.  I also
learned from others how Wal-Mart has affected their lives.  They showed
great courage by standing up against Wal-Mart.  I have seen a lot and

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):


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