Monday, February 9, 2009— 236 leaders of faith-based organizations, union and labor rights groups, Filipino-American associations and academics sent a letter of concern today to members of Congress protesting human rights abuses by the Philippines, funded by US foreign military assistance.
The Dole Food Company in Peru has agreed to a settlement with its subcontracted banana workers. The harvesting and packing workers had been denied the pay for the weekly rest day for nearly five years.
This Sunday, millions of sports fans around the world will watch this year’s National Football League (NFL) Super Bowl Halftime show sponsored by Bridgestone and featuring Bruce Springsteen. Meanwhile, the halftime show’s title sponsor will continue its long history of exploitation of workers and the environment in Liberia.
National retailer JC Penney (NYSE: JCP) has stopped using Oak Harbor Freight Lines to ship its merchandise in the western United States. This decision comes on the heels of a report by the International Labor Rights Forum, which found that Oak Harbor Freight Lines has violated international labor rights standards. Teamster members employed by Oak Harbor Freight have been on strike since September 22 because of violations of federal labor laws that protect workers’ rights, such as coercing and threatening employees, and making unlawful changes to working conditions.
International Labor Rights Forum released a new report finding that Oak Harbor Freight Lines violated international labor rights standards. Oak Harbor is a trucking firm headquartered in Auburn, Washington, that provides over-the-road transportation and delivery services for many commercial clients, including the company’s the Gap, Inc., the Maytag Corporation and others.
The publication of this year’s ITUC Annual Survey of Trade Union Rights Violations reveals an appalling record of union-busting, anti-union laws, intimidation and violence against workers’ representatives in 2007. A worldwide total of 91 trade unionists were murdered for defending workers’ rights, with Colombia, where 39 lost their lives, by far the worst offender yet again.
Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Congressman Eliot Engel (D-NY) today made the following statements in response to the findings of their congressionally mandated report on the cocoa industry’s progress in eradicating child labor.
The ITUC strongly protests against the arrest of Jan Sithole, secretary general of the Swaziland Federation of Trade Unions (SFTU), by the Swazi authorities.
According to the information received by the ITUC, Sithole has been subjected to intense harassment following a recent march organized by trade unions and other civil society groups against the participation of Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe and King Mswati III of Swaziland in a meeting of Southern African Development Community (SADC), which took place in Johannesburg on the 16th August 2008.
Socially conscious shareholders, pension funds and human rights advocates have joined together to demand that the government of Uzbekistan stop using forced child labor in its cotton harvest. Every year, the government of Uzbekistan reportedly mobilizes hundreds of thousands of children - many from ten to fifteen years old - for the manual harvesting of cotton.
Following four months of earnest bargaining between ICEM affiliate Firestone Agricultural Workers’ Union of Liberia (FAWUL) and management of the Firestone Rubber Plantation in the West African nation, the two sides reached a historic three-year collective agreement on 27 July.
The contract, the first between the two parties and one covering some over 4,500 workers, was signed on 6 August. Two days later, the FAWUL leadership team, together with officers of the newly-merged Liberian Labor Congress, briefed President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf on the agreement.
The United Steelworkers (USW) today hailed the signing of a landmark labor agreement between FAWUL (Firestone Agricultural Workers Union of Liberia) and Firestone. The new collective bargaining agreement covers more than 4,000 union members and provides significant gains for workers at one of the world's largest rubber plantations.