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.
Trina Tocco, International Labor Rights Forum, Mobile (269) 873-1000, Trina.tocco [at] ilrf.org
Group celebrates Mother’s Day at Home by Supporting Working Moms Abroad
The International Labor Rights Forum is hosting the Mother’s Day Roses Raffle to offer people throughout the United States a chance to send a special gift to a loved one while also advancing the rights of women in the Latin American rose industry.
The Congress of South African Trade Unions welcomes the statement by a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman that the China Ocean Shipping Company which owns the An Yue Jiang, has decided to recall the ship because Zimbabwe cannot take delivery of the 77 tonnes of weapons and ammunition onboard.
If true, this is an historic victory for the international trade union movement and civil society, and in particular for the South African Transport and Allied Workers Union, whose members refused to unload or transport its deadly cargo.
Agricultural corporations Cargill and Archer Daniels Midland have started an aggressive lobbying effort to drop a provision from the Farm Bill which would establish a voluntary certification program related to imports made using forced labor and child labor.
In recognition of the extraordinary courage, strength and solidarity of Liberian rubber workers at one of the world’s largest rubber plantations, we are proud to nominate the Firestone Agricultural Workers Union of Liberia (FAWUL) for the 2007 George Meany-Lane Kirkland Human Rights Award.
Unrest at footwear factory exposes consequences of NAFTA-style trade deals as presidential candidates make appeals to displaced Ohio manufacturing workers
Human rights and labor organizations in Ohio today called on presidential candidates and Governor Ted Strickland to adopt “sweatfree” purchasing policies to stop tax dollar support for sweatshop abuses that have sent thousands of Ohio jobs overseas. The call comes as the groups exposed workplace abuses in a Rocky Shoes-contracted facility in China, where as many as 4000 workers went on strike last month to protest non-payment of wages.
This February 14, while sweethearts in the US and Europe give flowers, the workers in Colombia, Ecuador, Kenya, and other flower-producing countries will celebrate the 7th annual International Flower Workers’ Day, with municipal festivals, and education sessions in schools and daycare centers where workers’ children study.
The Cambodian League for the Defense and Promotion of Human Rights (LICADHO) condemns the violent crackdown by authorities against workers on strike outside a Phnom Penh garment factory yesterday.
At least 10 members of the Cambodia Confederation of Apparel Worker Democratic Unions (CCAWDU) were injured in the violence. Four were struck by vehicles leaving the factory at high speed, and the remainder beaten by police or military police officers.
Stop Firestone Coalition Decries Conditions on Tire Company’s Rubber Plantation
The 2008 Chicago Auto Show starting February 8, 2008 will be partly sponsored by Bridgestone Firestone. While Bridgestone enjoys the public attention from the show, workers on the company’s rubber plantation in Liberia continue to be exploited. Since 1926, Bridgestone Firestone has operated the world’s largest rubber plantation in Harbel, Liberia where there is child labor, widespread abuse of workers’ rights and environmental damage. Workers on the plantation earn just $3.19 per day – less than the cost of admission to the Chicago Auto Show.