Blog: November 2009

LL Bean Responds with Grace

 Here is the company's public statement, issued today:  "Since this issue was brought to our attention by the International Labor Rights Forum, we have begun contacting suppliers to convey to them that we do not intend to use Uzbekistan cotton. We have also agreed to join a coalition of organizations working with ILRF to develop next steps toward the elimination of Uzbekistan cotton in the supply chain. This is a complex issue that we believe is best addressed on a collaborative basis.

Shop with a Conscience Consumer Guide Launched

While it can often be difficult to fully understand where a product we purchase comes from and all the steps that are involved in the supply chain, there is hope.  This hope comes in the form of the 2010 Shop with a Conscience Consumer and Wholesale Guide release by the International Labor Rights Forum and SweatFree Communities today.  The guide features apparel companies that are committed to workers rig

Government Purchasing Policy Forum in Washington, DC

When workers rights are not respected and instead greater attention is given to the company that can provide the lowest bid, the use of taxpayer money can be used to help facilitate the race to bottom.  While some restrictions do exist on where states can source from, these restrictions are often limited in scope.  For example, there might be restrictions on sourcing from places that use child labor or indentured servitude, but no mention of other labor rights concerns such as the freedom of association or the amount of money

Assassination of Farmworker Organizer Santiago Rafael and the FLOC Campaign to Organize Tobacco Workers in the Southern US

On April 9th 2007 FLOC organizer Santiago Rafael was brutally tortured and murdered in the union’s office in Mexico. Within a month of the crime FLOC compelled the Mexican government to work with authorities in Nuevo Leon to investigate the murder. Local police were able to apprehend one of the murderers through telephone records. Nuevo Leon authorities then tried to use the apprehension to close the case right away, claiming it was an isolated case of violence with no political motive behind it.

Rachel Maddow takes on corporations defending child and forced labor

As Sirota and Maddow note, the report in Inside US Trade stated that:

Business groups are worried by the potential effects of provisions
banning the import of all goods made with convict labor, forced labor,
or forced or indentured child labor that were included in a customs
bill sponsored by Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) and
Ranking Member Charles Grassley (R-IA)...

What does Kraft's proposed takeover of Cadbury mean for workers?

Kraft has shut down factories leading to thousands of layoffs in recent years while the CEO saw a 50% increase in total compensation in the last year.  Recently, Cadbury has been under fire in England for closing a factory in Keynsham which has drawn the ire of trade unions.  Kraft has stated that it wants to re-open the factory, but it's unclear how Kraft plans to cut production

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