Contact: Judy Gearhart, 202-347-4100 x106
December 20, 2011-- Hershey’s, Dole, Wal-Mart and Philippine Airlines top ILRF’s list of the “Worst Companies to Work for if You Want the Right to Join a Union,” according to a new report released today by the International Labor Rights Forum (ILRF), a leading labor rights watchdog based in Washington, DC. The corporations on ILRF’s list use intimidation and sometimes violence, in the U.S. and abroad, to violate workers’ internationally recognized right to organize.
Among other rights related to freedom of association, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) states that “everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests” (Article 23, Section 4).
Despite the labor rights protections in the UDHR and national labor laws, workers continue to see their rights trampled on a daily basis. In its most recent survey of violations of trade union rights, the International Trade Union Confederation reports at least 90 unionists were killed, 2,083 were injured, and 4,599 were illegally fired last year as a result of their union activities. Additionally, as the employment crisis continues to grow, many labor rights advocates fear that companies are using the crisis to attack union workers and institute employment schemes that reduce the number of workers guaranteed union protections.
Working for Scrooge is part of ILRF’s Freedom at Work campaign. The list along with company profiles can be viewed online here: http://www.laborrights.org/scrooges2011
According to ILRF, the 2011 Scrooge corporations’ violations include intimidating workers with severe threats, standing by while suppliers aggressively suppress worker organizing, collaborating with military forces to undermine democratically elected union leaders, illegally firing thousands of workers, exploiting foreign exchange students, and turning a blind eye to forced child labor in the supply chain.
“The right to freedom of association is typically violated through the use of bullying tactics and the spread of anti-union propaganda but this year’s Scrooges have taken violating workers’ rights to new lows. As we celebrate the holiday season, consumers and labor advocates can support workers by telling these Scrooge companies that they need to respect workers rights,” said Judy Gearhart, Executive Director of the International Labor Rights Forum. Consumer petitions to the corporations that made ILRF’s 2011 “Scrooge” list are featured on laborrights.org
The International Labor Rights Forum is a non-profit organization dedicated to achieving just and humane treatment for workers globally. More information can be found online at www.LaborRights.org.