Blog: Indonesia

How Anti-Sweatshop Activists and Unions Made Severance Pay Mandatory

In August last year Iris Montoya came to work at the Rio Garment factory in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, where she had worked as a sewing machine operator for 11 years. At 11 a.m., the factory lights shut off and management escorted the workers outside, locking the doors behind them.

Management announced that the factory was shutting down operations that very day. Panic broke out. Workers were told to go home, barred from retrieving their belongings, and left without their last week’s pay.

Three weeks later, when Montoya went to the hospital for foot surgery, she was denied coverage. Management had been deducting insurance from workers’ paychecks for the past five months but had not been depositing the money into the health care system.

Time to Unleash the Power of the U.S National Contact Point

One of the many items in the packed agenda at the UN General Assembly in New York last week was the establishment of more concrete standards for companies seeking to do business sustainably in pursuit of the Sustainable Development Goals. More and more top business leaders are seeking guidance on how to ensure good corporate behavior. But the UN standards are not the only resource to CEOs that want to make environmental and social protection part of their business model.

Workers Give Message to RSPO: Don’t Certify Abuse!

Medan, Indonesia—This week hundreds of oil palm workers and their allies crashed the 11th annual meeting of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), a multi-stakeholder organization that promotes “sustainable” palm oil, to protest the organization’s failure to uphold its own labor standards. 

Arriving in colorful rain jackets on motorbikes and small pick-ups, the protesters braved a torrential downpour to deliver a blunt message to the RSPO: Stop certifying worker exploitation.

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