Posts by GLJ-ILRF

Honduran Melon Pickers Decry Fruit Giant Fyffes Refusal to Sign Agreement and Demand No Retaliation in Hiring

Choluteca, October 26, 2022 – Honduran farmworkers on marched on the melon fields in Choluteca demanding that multinational fruit giant Fyffes engage with them in good faith after the company walked away from negotiations with their union and stopped hiring union members, making it impossible for them to feed their families. 

The workers, members of El Sindicato de Trabajadores de la Agroindustria y Similares (STAS), called out Fyffes for turning their back on workers and negotiations, demanded an end to discrimination in hiring and called for intervention from the Honduran government to enforce the law and protect their rights. 

A World Cup for Workers: Fighting for Labor and Human Rights

In a month FIFA will be making its final city selection for the North American 2026 World Cup which will take place with games in the U.S., Mexico, and Canada. FIFA and the World Cup’s dismal record on human rights, from Qatar to Brazil to South Africa and prioritization of corporate sponsors over communities and workers impacted has tarnished the internationally-beloved game of football. 

As Castro takes office, Hondurans continue to fight for democracy, workers’ rights

This week international attention is on Honduras as U.S. Vice President Harris visits the country for the inauguration of Xiomara Castro, Honduras’ first woman President, elected on a platform of tackling the enormous inequalities that have historically plagued the country. Much of the attention will be focused on Honduras’ relationship with the United States, and the Biden administration's desire to address root causes of migration. Castro’s presidency offers tremendous hope for Hondurans on many levels but key to the question of migration is in their fight to expand labor rights and raise their standard of living in a country where nearly half the population lives below the poverty line.

The Justice for Jeyasre Speaking Tour Stops in Los Angeles

In Los Angeles, garment workers like Maria, Elizabeth, and Carlos are earning around $6 an hour. That’s because they’re paid through the piece rate system, where workers earn pennies per garment sewn instead of earning an hourly wage. “These industries are run by millionaires,” Maria from the Garment Workers Center shared on the Los Angeles Justice for Jeyasre Speaking Tour stop, “and they have us enslaved.”

The Justice for Jeyasre Speaking Tour Stops in Tennessee

When Armando helped build a public middle school in Tennessee he expected to get paid for his work. Two years later, he’s still fighting to get the $43,000 owed to him. 

Companies, like the one Armando worked for, often get millions of dollars in government contracts only to turn around and steal workers’ wages. They assumed that, because they’re not from the U.S. and don’t speak English, they won’t be able to fight back. “It’s so corrupt”, Armando said at the speaking tour event, “they keep hiring the same corrupt companies. This will continue if we don’t do anything about it”.

The Justice for Jeyasre Speaking Tour Stops in Chicago

Wale Ogunyemi was killed this summer in an unsafe warehouse outside of Chicago. He was a 42-year old Nigerian immigrant who supported his wife and two daughters from the United States. In that same warehouse, three workers were killed on the job and fifty-one serious injuries have been reported since 2016. 

In the first few minutes of the Justice for Jeyasre speaking tour stop in Chicago, Roberto Clack from Warehouse Workers for Justice shared Wale’s story, how they also had to bury a fellow worker, just months earlier, because of an unsafe workplace.

The Justice for Jeyasre Speaking Tour Stops in Philadelphia

There was an outpouring of support from the local labor unions, worker centers and members of Asian and South Asian diaspora especially Tamils who attended the Philadelphia stop of the #JusticeForJeyasre speaking tour. Participants in the tour stop shared personal experiences with workplace fights from garment shops in Bangladesh to coffee shops in Philadelphia, reflecting on parallel injustices and strategies to build worker power on the job.

The Justice for Jeyasre Speaking Tour Stops in Arizona

Borders are easily crossed by corporate garment brands. They rake in massive profits from suppliers who cheaply produce clothing in countries with low wages, large labor pools, and insufficient worker protections. While borders are open to brands, they hold workers in low wage jobs and, when workers do cross them, provide employers with the potent threat of deportation if workers organize or report abuse like sexual harassment. When the Justice for Jeyasre speaking tour stopped in Arizona on September 23rd, Thivya’s call to build solidarity across and against these borders resonated deeply with those listening.

The Justice for Jeyasre Speaking Tour Stops in Florida

On September 15th, Thivya met with unions and worker center leaders in Florida to discuss gender-based violence and harassment in the work\place.

The meeting was the first stop in Thivya’s virtual speaking tour to cities across the United States in support of the Justice for Jeyasre campaign. Central Florida Jobs with Justice, Dream Defenders, Florida Immigrant Coalition, Florida Policy Institute, Florida Student Power Network, Miami Workers Center, United for Respect, WeCount!, and SEIU 1199 all came out virtually to discuss strategies for organizing against retaliation and gender-based violence and harassment, and to learn about the Justice for Jeyasre campaign.

Indian Union Leader Thivya Rakini Inspires APALA Convention with Lessons of Organizing on Global Supply Chains from the South and Calls for Global Solidarity with Garment Workers in Honor of Jeyasre Kathiravel

Over the weekend,  Indian Union Leader Thivya Rakini, President of the Tamil Nadu Textile and Common Labour Union (TTCU) addressed the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance’s 16th Biennial Convention with the theme Rooted in Legacy: Reimagining a New World Beyond Borders & Across Oceans.  TTCU is a women-led Tamil Nadu based sectoral textile worker union.  

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