A negotiated settlement between Unilever and the IUF has resolved the long, difficult conflict over the rights of precarious workers at the company's directlly-owned Lipton/Brooke Bond tea factory in Khanewal, Pakistan. The negotiations took place under the auspices of the UK's National Contact Point responsible for the application of the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises.
MANILA – For weeks now, alleged members of the military have been casing the offices in Cebu of the Center for Trade Union and Human Rights (CTUHR), a nongovernment group that documents human-rights violations committed against workers. The CTUHR’s staff has raised concern over the surveillance, knowing fully well that workers and labor organizers have been victims of harassment and extrajudicial killings perpetrated by state agents.
MANILA — In their concluding press briefing early this month, the high-level mission from the International Labor Organization expressed appreciation for the “full cooperation and extensive information provided to it” by the Philippine government, its agencies and the workers’ and employers’ organizations.
Working for a private corporation based in the heart of Malawi's commercial city of Blantyre, Bakaya smokes only Peter Stuyvesant cigarettes ' also a favourite of the company executives he drives around.
He has to shell out nearly US$1,40 for a packet of 10 of these cigarettes ' more than a day's wages for most people in Malawi, one of the world's poorest countries.
While Bakaya can afford to pay for his expensive smoke, Malawian farmers growing the tobacco that ends up in these cigarettes are finding it hard to survive.
In the child labour debate, one apologistic argument often rears its ugly head. It posits that many poor people rely on their children to work to support the family and that it would be naive to think this situation can be reversed quickly.
Which is preferable, proponents of this line of logic ask: a family able to feed itself, or a starving child in school? It is the question that passes through countless Western heads when they see small children hawking magazines at Indian traffic stops or serving chai at tea stalls.
The fifth international cotton fair involving 300 companies from 33 countries started in Tashkent on 14 October. These participants do not care about many Western organisations that have called for the boycott of Uzbek cotton because it is produced involving forced child labour.
A conference that preceded the fair noted that quality and the stable and timely supplies of Uzbek cotton to world markets were the main merits of Uzbek cotton.
Uzbekistan’s three main foreign trade companies – Uzmarkazimpex, Uzprommashimpex and Uzinterimpex – represent local cotton sellers.
Outside the embassy of Uzbekistan today, nearly 100 union members and allies from the Washington, D.C., area rallied to show their support for Uzbek children subjected to child labor. Millions of children, some as young as age 7, could be subjected to long hours of labor in cotton fields this fall.