Press Releases

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Free2Work Launches Barcode Scanning App 2.0, Increasing Consumer Power


San Francisco, CA-- Free2Work today announced the launch of App 2.0, the latest iteration of the powerful consumer information platform for iPhone and Android, increasing transparency in supply chains worldwide.

The mobile application equips consumers with valuable information on companies’ labor standards and production practices at the moment they need it most – while they shop.

Mars and Fairtrade International Announce Collaboration


MALTESERS® to carry the FAIRTRADE Mark in UK/Ireland in 2012, Mars to provide more than $1 million annually in Fairtrade Premiums to farmers' co-operatives in West Africa

MT. OLIVE, N.J. and BONN, Del., Sept. 27, 2011 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- Mars Chocolate and Fairtrade International today announced a new agreement to introduce the first Fairtrade labeled Mars product and to work together to enable farmers to have sustainable livelihoods and substantially increased productivity.

U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk Announces Next Step in Labor Rights Enforcement Case against Guatemala


Washington, D.C. —United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk today announced that the U.S. is taking the next step in a dispute regarding the Government of Guatemala’s apparent failure to effectively enforce its labor laws by requesting the establishment of an arbitral panel under the Dominican Republic-Central America-United States Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR). The United States requested formal consultations in July 2010 regarding the issues in this case.

Prominent Labor Rights Organization Welcomes Judy Gearhart as New Director


The International Labor Rights Forum (ILRF) is pleased to welcome Judy Gearhart as the organization’s new Executive Director following former director Bama Athreya’s transition to the Global Works Foundation.  ILRF will continue to strengthen its efforts to promote just and humane treatment for workers worldwide under the new leadership of Gearhart.

Statement Concerning the Release from Jail of BCWS Leaders


We have received confirmation that Kalpona Akter, Babul Akhter, and Aminul Islam of the Bangladesh Center for Worker Solidarity (BCWS) were released from the Dhaka Central Prison by the Bangladeshi authorities at about 10pm Dhaka time September 10th, at the start of the Eid Festival which marks the end of Ramadan. Their release was secured following the granting of bail on all charges during a special hearing by a magistrate judge on Wednesday, September 8. Upon their release, the BCWS leaders expressed a “heartfelt thanks” to all who have supported them.

World Cup Soccer Balls Missed the Goal Set 13 Years Ago: Child Labor, Poverty Wages, Temporary Workers


Washington, DC – As excitement grows for the upcoming FIFA World Cup beginning shortly in South Africa, there is a part of the World Cup that many sports fans will not see.  The workers stitching soccer balls in Pakistan, India, China and Thailand continue to experience alarming labor rights violations even 13 years after the soccer ball industry signed the “Atlanta Agreement” committing to clean up the industry.

World Cup Soccer Balls: Exploitation Still the Norm


Report reveals Child Labour, Poverty Wages, Temporary Workers

7 June 2010: As the frenzy grows over the upcoming FIFA World Cup in South Africa, there is a part of the World Cup that won’t be broadcast on TV. The Play Fair Alliance today asked FIFA to respond to the report “Missed the Goal for Workers: the Reality of Soccer Ball Stitchers”, released by US-based NGO International Labor Rights Forum (ILRF) on 7 June.

Colombia: 195 Teachers Killed, No One Guilty


The ITUC has denounced and strongly condemned the murders of art teacher Zorayda Cortés López, who worked at the Higher Technical Institute of Pereira, the capital of Risaralda, and Leny Yanube Rengifo Gómez, a teacher and active member of the Cauca education workers’ union, Asociación de Institutores y Trabajadores de la Educación del Cauca – ASOINCA.

It is unacceptable and a cause for grave concern in the trade union movement that 195 teachers have been assassinated in Colombia, without a single arrest being made, and that 35 trade unionists have been killed this year alone.

Stop Violence Against Women Day: Governments to Take Decisive Action to End Violence Against Women


On the occasion of the UN International Day on the Elimination of Violence against Women, the ITUC and affiliates in a range of countries are organizing activities to say “no to violence against women and girls” and to mobilize against the impunity of that violence around the world. These activities are taking place in the context of the UN Secretary-General’s campaign ‘UNiTE to End Violence against Women’ and the Global Unions Campaign ‘Decent Work, Decent Life for Women’.

Turkey: 22 Public Sector Union Members and Leaders Freed After Six Months of Unlawful Detention


On Thursday 19 and Friday 20 November, in Izmir, Turkey, the ITUC attended, together with over a dozen representatives from trade unions and Global Union Federations from eight different European countries, the trial against 31 leaders and members of Turkish public sector union KESK. Being tried on charges of having established a terrorist organisation, 22 of them had already spent nearly six months in prison without access to due trial.

ITUC Mourns the Passing of Global Trade Union Leader Neil Kearney


It is with profound sadness that the ITUC has learned of the passing of global trade union leader Neil Kearney in Dhaka, Bangladesh, on 18 November. Born in 1950 in Donegal, Ireland, Neil Kearney served as General Secretary of the International Textile, Garment and Leather Workers’ Federation since 1988, following 16 years as a national trade union official in the UK.