Lessons in nutrition, or lessons in exploitation?

See below to read Dole's announcement about its upcoming healthy food program:

Jan. 30, 2007

Dole Food
Company, Inc., today announced that it is partnering with national
organizations to launch a pilot program that will introduce innovative new
vending machines to schools featuring healthy food products. The new vending
machines will supply DOLE brand healthy foods such as fresh fruits and Fruit
Bowls(R), in conjunction with cafeteria-prepared salads, sandwich wraps and
milk, giving school children greater access to healthy and nutritious foods.
These machines utilize School Link Technology software.

Another World is Possible!

ILRF participated
in three panels throughout the 5 day event. The first panel was titled “The purchasing policies of Wal-Mart
and other Big Box Retailers and how workers are impacted” and was organized
with the Kenya Human Rights Commission and the Clean Clothes Campaign. In addition to panelists from these
organizations, the event also featured a worker from a textile union in Uganda which produces for Wal-Mart. The audience learned more about the sweatshop conditions at factories producing for Wal-Mart
and brainstormed ideas for an international day of action to hold this big box retailer responsible for its labor rights violations.

Nestle Still Doesn't Get It

We have repeatedly requested that Nestle take responsibility for
its cocoa supply chain in Ivory Coast and are still waiting for clarification on
what the company has done to take the few simple, basic steps that we and others
requested years ago.  These include:

*Provide transparency of your supply
chain.  The farmers know which multinationals are buying their cocoa- why, then,
is it so hard for the multinationals to identify which farmers are selling to

*Create contracts with the farmers.  Nestle can be assured farmers
will do the right thing if the farmers can be assured that Nestle will honor its
arrangements with them.

Walmart's Energy Savings Cost Workers

The story notes that Philips manufactures CFL bulbs in Asia, and GE is
portrayed as worried that a big increase in CFL sales could take jobs
away from its US-produced incandescent bulbs.  The story says that in
meetings with suppliers, WMT buyers pushed for lower prices for CFLs.
Has Walmart, and have the big environmental groups advising it,
considered how suppliers will manage to enforce work place codes of
conduct and ensure fair compensation of workers as prices are cut to
induce US consumers to become more energy efficient?

American Apparel goes public but what will this mean for workers?

Dov Charney built this business and has remained controversial with
his sexist antics as cataloged in multiple print articles over the
years. (You can find a small smattering of them on Musicians Against Sweatshops' website and
American Apparel gained worldwide notoriety (and sales) for their
sweatshop free claim yet for years many among the anti sweatshop
activist community have remained very critical of American Apparel's
self designation.

Attention Liberians: Beware of Foreign Investors!

What Keating doesn’t note is that child labor and violations of
internationally recognized labor rights are still rampant on the
Firestone rubber plantation.  Beyond just bad publicity, organizations
in Liberia, the US and around the world are pressuring Firestone to
take responsibility for human rights violations in their rubber
production and have formed the Stop Firestone coalition.

Ecuadorians eliminate businessman notorious for labor rights violations from the presidential seat

Fortunately for Ecuadorian workers, Noboa is not president-elect. The
winning candidate, Rafael Correa, is more left-leaning and hopes to
unite South American countries to gain more favorable trading
possibilities. He has also said that he will not sign the free trade
agreement with the United States - this is also good news for local
workers, who are offered no real protections for their labor rights
under this proposed FTA.


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