Broad Coalition Seeks Stronger Labor Protections, Corporate Responsibility in Palm Oil Industry

Publication Date: 

March 4, 2015

While the world’s growing palm oil industry has long been (justifiably) the target of environmental NGOs for its role in land grabs and rainforest destruction, too often activists have overlooked another of its dirty secrets: the palm oil industry’s reliance on risky employment practices that place migrant workers and day laborers at risk of wage theft, child labor, and even forms of modern day slavery. 

Joint Letter to FLA Re. Wage Strategy

Publication Date: 

February 2, 2015

As national and international trade unions and nongovernmental organizations, we are writing in response to the Fair Labor Association’s request for input concerning the FLA’s “Organizational strategy on wages,” that was shared with some of us in December 2014 and FLA’s “Draft Fair Compensation Workplan.”

Overall, the wage strategy that FLA has circulated is exceedingly long on plans to study what constitutes adequate wages, but notably short on what FLA member companies will actually be obligated to do to raise wages in their supply chains.

While the FLA’s proposed wage strategy is presented as a mechanism for implementing a recently added provision in the FLA Workplace Code of Conduct -- that member companies make progress toward adequate wages for workers -- it lacks the urgency commensurate with the global crisis of poverty wages, and associated severe labor rights and safety violations, in the supply chains of FLA member companies.

Brewing Misery: Condition of Working Families in Tea Plantations in West Bengal and Kerala

Publication Date: 

January 15, 2015
India is the largest producer of black tea globally, India also is the largest consumer of black tea. Global black tea production is highly concentrated, with India, Sri Lanka and Kenya together accounting for 60-62 per cent of the total black tea supply. Sri Lanka and Kenya export 90-95 per cent of their black tea output as the domestic market is miniscule. India, on the other hand, typically exports only 17-20 percent of its produce.

Tobacco Production and Tenancy Labour in Malawi

Publication Date: 

January 12, 2015


Tenants provide most of the labour and bear most of the risk in production of the tobacco crop, and yet they receive only a fraction of end sale of the tobacco, have no job security, are typically provided with poor housing and few social services amenities, and have little or no leverage at all in negotiating or enforcing their verbal contracts; and last they have inadequate legal protection with regard to their plight.

Justice Delayed: The Long Road of the Guatemala CAFTA Complaint

Publication Date: 

January 12, 2015
In September 2014, the United States Trade Representative (USTR) announced that it will finally proceed to arbitration against the Government of Guatemala, more than six years after a complaint was filed alleging that Guatemala was violating the labor standards contained in the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA).