Blog: February 2010

Time to Strike and Time for Change: The Labor Protests in Egypt and Beyond

It resulted from the combined effects of authoritarian control and the liberalization policy. Despite its republic appearance, Egypt is an authoritarian state. The government exerts very restrictive control over civil society. Even though Egypt ratified core ILO conventions decades ago as listed in the following table, words have not been transformed into action.

Oprah's Godiva Love Fest

Other chocolate companies have gone much farther in ensuring transparency in their cocoa sourcing and supporting better conditions for cocoa farmers.  For example, Divine Chocolate is Fair Trade certified and is even co-owned by the democratic cooperative in Ghana that produces its cocoa, Kuapa Kokoo.  Equal Exchange sources cocoa beans from Fair Trade cooperatives in Latin America and its operations in

Demand that Your Tax Dollars Don't Support Sweatshops (and learn a thing while doing it!)

For example, in the King’s Land factory located in Cambodia, which produces for Walmart among others, workers get paid roughly $50 a month, however the daily pay can fluctuate from $1.08 to $2.16 a day.  That is far below a living wage or even a minimum wage; that is a poverty wage.  At the

How to Truly Appreciate Your Valentine’s Day Flowers

Colombia is the biggest exporter of flowers to the United States.  According to the association of Colombian flower exporters, Asocolflores, about 80% of the flowers currently imported to the U.S. are from Colombia. Over the last few months, nearly 200,000 Colombian flower workers have been working 12-16 hour days to meet demands, picking on average 350 flowers per hour.       

Responding to Bridgestone/Firestone

Firestone is correct that "the amount of work that each employee is expected to complete, as well as the conditions of that work, is established through negotiations between the company and FAWUL [the Firestone Agricultural Workers Union of Liberia." In fact, FAWUL and the company are negotiating a new contract right now.  Consumers around the world who e-mailed Firestone are encouraging Firestone to use these negotiations as an opportunity to finally end the exploitative and unpopular system of transporting latex on the plant

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