Press Releases

For media inquiries please contact Rachel Cohen: racohen78 [at]

Colombia: Two More Trade Unionists Murdered


The ITUC once again strongly condemns and denounces the murders of two more trade unionists in the Arauca region. Pablo Rodríguez Garavito and Jorge Humberto Echaverri Garro, teachers affiliated to the Arauca teachers’ association Asociación de Educadores de Arauca (ASEDAR), were brutally murdered by unknown gunmen.

The ITUC has joined with its regional organisation TUCA, its Colombian affiliates, and ASEDAR, in their resounding condemnation of these murders, mourned by working people and the national, regional and international trade union movement.

Niger: Democracy Under Threat


According to the seven Nigerien trade union organisations within the Intercentrale CDTN-CGSL-CNT-UGSEIN-UGTN-USPT-USTN inter-union grouping, democratic stability is under serious threat in Niger. President Mamadou Tandja is pushing for a referendum aimed at changing the Nigerien Constitution so that he can run for a third term.

This situation has come about following the Constitutional Court’s rejection, on 25 May, of his call for a referendum. The National Assembly was dissolved the following day.

Outlaw Tainted ‘White Gold’


Global clothing brands and retailers were today urged to purge their supply chains of tainted "white gold' - cotton from Uzbekistan picked by forced and child labour.

Speaking in Geneva on the World Day Against Child Labour, Neil Kearney, General Secretary of the International Textile, Garment and Leather Workers' Federation hit out at the global cotton industry as one of the most exploitative industries employing millions of children in preparing, planting and picking.

New report shows continued use of forced child labor in Uzbekistan’s cotton industry despite some improvement


A new report released today by the International Labor Rights Forum (ILRF) and anonymous human rights activists shows that while international pressure from retailers and consumers has had some effect in curbing forced child labor in the production of cotton in Uzbekistan, the practice is still pervasive.

Come Meet Liberian Labor Activists in DC on Saturday, May 16!


For over 80 years, the Bridgestone Firestone tire company has owned the world’s largest rubber plantation in Liberia. Child labor, widespread abuse of worker’s rights and environmental destruction have characterized the plantation for generations. But workers and communities affected by Firestone’s abuses are fighting back. Come hear the leaders of the union representing Firestone workers in Liberia and a leading environmental advocate discuss their fight for economic and environmental justice – and find out how you can support their struggle!

Study of the impact of DR-CAFTA on labor rights reveals precarious conditions, impunity, and the risk of decline


After three years of studying the impact of the free trade agreement DR-CAFTA on labor rights, the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) published a study today that reveals that labor conditions in the DR-CAFTA countries have not improved and violations have not diminished regardless of promises made by the member countries to improve labor rights and the millions of dollars invested by the United States to meet this objective. Moreover, WOLA anticipates the labor situation in Central America will deteriorate further due to the global economic crisis.

Contract Worker Death Causes Safety Strike at Drummond in Colombia


In a unified response to safety shortfalls that killed a contract worker at Drummond Coal’s La Loma mine, 8,000 members of Sintramienergética and other contract staff stage a four-day strike late in March that shut production of Colombia’s second largest coal mine.

Dagoberto Clavijo Barranco, a one-month worker at La Loma who was put there through a labour agency, was killed on 23 March when the coal-hauling vehicle he was operating fell into an open-cast mine.

Equal Exchange Named One of the World’s Most Democratic Workplaces for 3rd Consecutive Year


For perks some companies offer flextime, job training, or 401k contributions, but at Equal Exchange full-time permanent workers can get a vote to go along with all that. The 23 year-old, $34 million employee-owned firm, best known for their Fair Trade coffee, tea and chocolate, is run like a small New England town where the workers are the citizens, the employee-led Board is the City Council, and the top managers fill a role similar to the City Manager.

Mars, Inc. Announces Sustainability Commitments for Cocoa

ILRF and OCA call for stronger commitment to Fair Trade and Organic sourcing

This Wednesday, Mars, Incorporated announced a commitment to source 100,000 metric tons of cocoa certified by the Rainforest Alliance annually for use in Mars products. The first product to use Rainforest Alliance certified cocoa will be Galaxy Chocolate in the UK and Ireland beginning in 2010.

New ITUC Report: Global Food Crisis Set to Worsen


A new report released by the International Trade Union Confederation predicts a worsening of the already serious global food crisis unless urgent action is taken by governments and international agencies. The number of people without enough to eat increased by 150 million in 2008, and the global economic crisis is likely to result in a further 200 million falling into absolute poverty.

Iran: Repression Escalates Against Trade Unionists


The ITUC strongly protests against the latest wave of repression that has targeted the Haft Tapeh union in Iran, which is a member of the Global Union Federation IUF. Several trade unionists have been subject to heavy-handed arrest, and subsequently released but Ali Nejati, the president of the union, arrested on 8 March, is still detained. This arrest follows a court proceeding against five trade union leaders from the Haft Tapeh Sugar Cane Plantation.

Cadbury Dairy Milk commits to going Fairtrade


Cadbury and the Fairtrade Foundation today announced plans to achieve Fairtrade certification for Cadbury Dairy Milk, the nation’s top selling chocolate bar, by end of Summer 2009. This groundbreaking move will result in the tripling of sales of cocoa under Fairtrade terms for cocoa farmers in Ghana, both increasing Fairtrade cocoa sales for existing certified farming groups, as well as opening up new opportunities for thousands more farmers to benefit from the Fairtrade system.