In the News

Beneath the Golden Arches

Daily Texan

By Katie Shepherd & Jordan Buckley

Exactly 50 years ago this weekend, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. answered a startling phone call from Minneapolis Tribune journalist Carl T. Rowan. Rowan had come across a wire report that the Montgomery bus boycott - then entering its sixth week - had been resolved by city officials and local black ministers.

Mexico activist freed in surprising rights victory


By Lorraine Orlandi

MEXICO CITY, Jan 12 (Reuters) - A Mexican rights activist arrested on what supporters said were false charges engineered by powerful businessmen was suddenly released on Thursday as international pressure mounted on his behalf.

A surprised and somewhat giddy Martin Barrios, 33, walked out of jail in central Mexico's Puebla state, apparently exonerated of attempted blackmail charges brought last month by the head of a local textile factory where Barrios had helped workers file labor complaints.

Work Stoppage at Urraco Banana Plantations

Diario La Tribuna

URRACO, Yoro.- Demanding the reinstatement of three coworkers, respect for the Collective Bargaining Agreement, and an end to the persecution of its president, the Sindicato de Trabajadores de la Empresa Americana de Exportación y Ameribi (SITRAAMERIBI), stopped working yesterday, for an indefinite period, at the Birichichi banana plantation.

The 176 unionized workers, carrying posters and clubs, are outside the main entrance of the farm, which is a subsidiary of the Tela Railroad Company. They aim to prevent company executives and 80 contract workers from entering.

Proagro penalises 11 cottonseed growers for employing child labour

Business Standard

Ch Prashanth Reddy / Hyderabad

Proagro, a company of Bayer Cropsciences, has decided to penalise 11 farmers and cancel the contracts with three more for employing child labour in the cottonseed production last year.

The company, which had chalked out an action plan in collaboration with non-governmental organisations to address the problem of child labour in hybrid cottonseed production in the state, had also blacklisted nine farmers for engaging child labour but decided against imposing penalties on them.

Cross Stitches

The Hindu

By Anuja Mirchandaney

My sister in the US recently bought a smartly embroidered top for $35, and was amused to find a `Made in India' tag. Had she known that only $1.8 of the retail price went for labour, she would have been shocked. While the Indian garment sector earns high export revenues, the flip side is that the substantial profit accruing to foreign retailers and, to a lesser extent, Indian manufacturers, is not reflected in the garment workers' wages.