In the News

Washington may become ‘sweatfree’

The Daily Evergreen


Excerpt from article:

Two years ago, WSU students joined a long line of college activists to protest Cougar gear made in sweatshops. In cardboard boxes emblazoned with their battle cry – “I’d Rather Go Naked than Wear Sweatshop Clothing” – Progressive Student Union members prepared to fight.

However, the fight was not to be had. WSU officials were already considering going sweatfree and signed a policy within a week, said Alyce Anderson, WSU trademark department program administrative manager.

Guinea under fire after scores killed in crackdown


CONAKRY — International condemnation mounted Tuesday after security forces in the world's top bauxite producer Guinea shot dead least 87 people protesting against a junta leader who seized power in December.

The outcry boiled over amid reports that troops were reportedly removing bodies in the seaside capital Conakry to hide the scale of the bloodshed.

"There are 87 bodies that were collected in and around the stadium after the military came through," a police source said, referring to the venue of Monday's rally and speaking on condition of anonymity.

Foreign garment buyers urged to contribute to worker wages

Financial Times

Foreign garment buyers are being asked to pay a few cents more for garments bought from Asian countries, including Sri Lanka – to help pay decent wages to garment workers. Worker representative groups in major Asian garment producing countries are launching a campaign called the ‘Asian Floor Wage Campaign’ in October, targeting international garment buying companies.

Blood Cotton

Independent World Report

By Tasneem Khalil

This is one of the most shocking stories of forced labour that involves children.

The setting of this story is the Central Asian republic of Uzbekistan – one of the most brutal among post-Soviet dictatorships. The Islam Karimov regime is notorious for its ruthless repression of any kind of opposition or threat – political, social or economic.

Hard truths about Uzbek cotton

LA Times

The strongman regime is making huge profits on the backs of the nation's children while ignoring calls to halt its violations of international labor regulations.

As youngsters in the United States return to school, children in Uzbekistan will be returning to the fields. For them, it is the autumn cotton harvest. From now through the end of November, instead of attending classes, 2 million Uzbek children ages 6 to 15 will be forced to spend their days picking cotton.

‘Exhibit A’–gunshot scars–shocks ILO team

Philippines Daily Inquirer

By Nikko Dizon

MANILA, Philippines — “Exhibit A” was labor leader Joel Ascutia’s scars from gunshot wounds he sustained on July 13 during a strike by public transportation drivers in Bicol.

Panel members of a high-level International Labor Organization (ILO) fact-finding mission were “shocked” during the hearing they conducted on Wednesday night, Elmer Labog, chair of the Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU), told the Philippine Daily Inquirer Thursday.

ILO probes labor rights violations in RP

Philippine Daily Inquirer

MANILA, Philippines – (UPDATE) A high-level team from the International Labor Organization heard on Wednesday complaints and testimonies about murders of trade union leaders and labor rights advocates, as well as violations of workers’ rights in the country straight from about 30 workers’ groups.

The three-member team held a forum and several hearings during two sessions held from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the RCBC Plaza auditorium in Makati City. The proceedings were closed to media; the team earlier said it would hold a press briefing on Sept. 30 to reveal their findings.