In the News

Cambodia's sales pitch: Sweatshop-free products

USA Today

By David J. Lynch

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia - Every Third World factory boss knows the formula for

success: Drive your workers to the point of exhaustion and pay them as

little as possible. If they complain, replace them.

But garment factories in Cambodia, one of the world's poorest nations,

aren't gloomy pits of Dickensian misery. Instead, Cambodia is seeking to

become the rare Third World country to develop economically while treating

workers reasonably well.

Guilt-Free Shopping

Shepherd Express Online

By Camille Dodero

Capitalism comes in many shapes and sizes; it’s positively Whitmanesque in its diversity.

There is the bygone capitalism pictured in PBS specials—the heavy industry captured on black-and-white newsreels, which saw our grandparents and great-grandparents trudge off to the Herbert Hoover Manufacturing Plant to work long, demanding hours making big, clunky things in cavernous, dangerous, smoky, smelly environments.

Guatemalan anti-free trade protester shot dead


By Frank Jack Daniel

GUATEMALA CITY, Mar 15 (Reuters) - At least one person was killed and several injured in Guatemala on Tuesday when police tried to disperse a protest against a controversial free trade agreement. Protesting teachers and farmers say the police fired live rounds as they tried to clear a demonstration from a road 180 miles (290 km) north of Guatemala City close to the border with Mexico in the highland region of Huehuetenango.

SweatFree on Lou Dobbs


As we've reported extensively here, countries such as China use unfair and often inhumane labor practices in order to gain competitive advantage in world trade. Now state and local governments all across this country are taking action to protect American workers from similar conditions. A movement called SweatFree Communities is promoting new legislation, and that movement is gaining momentum. Lisa Sylvester reports.


Take kids off cocoa farms

Toledo Blade

THE chocolate industry has had nearly four years to implement a system certifying that children do not work on its cocoa-growing farms. So now it's unacceptable that some in the industry won't meet a July 1 voluntary deadline to certify that they are in compliance.

Buy roses with workers' rights in mind

Miami Herald


This Valentine's Day, many of you will be buying roses or other flowers for your loved ones. But probably many of you don't know that the workers in Ecuador and Colombia who produce those roses are working under increasingly precarious conditions. I have been working in Ecuador's rose plantations for 22 years and visited the United States this month for the first time to share my experiences in the flower industry and the concerns and hopes of my fellow workers.

Valentine's Day Sweatshops


By Russell Mokhiber and Robert Weissman

Before you buy your sweetie those roses for Valentine's Day, pause for a moment to consider where they come from, and at what cost -- and what can be done to give a bit more joy not just to the flowers' recipients, but their producers.

Cut flowers are a highly globalized industry. The majority of cut flowers sold in the United States are imported, especially from Colombia and Ecuador. Kenya and Tanzania are the key overseas supplier for Europe.

International Trade Chocolate Manufacturers Group Intervenes In Suit on Côte d'Ivoire's Forced Child Labor

Daily Report for Executives No 28 page A15

By Rossella Brevetti

The Court of International Trade has granted the Chocolate Manufacturers Association request to intervene as a defendant in a case brought by the International Labor Rights Fund (ILRF) against the government, seeking to compel enforcement of laws prohibiting imports of goods made with forced child labor, ILRF announced Feb. 9 (International Labor Rights Fund v. United States, Ct. Int.'l Trade, No. 04-005432/1/05).