Press Releases

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

Divine Chocolate Leads as Catalyst for Change in Chocolate Market


Unique to Divine Chocolate, one of the leading dedicated Fairtrade companies in the UK and the USA, is the amazing story of how smallholder cocoa farmers in Ghana came to own 45% of a chocolate company. A company that has pioneered the market for Fair Trade chocolate; a company with products in all the major retail markets that delivers profits to the farmers of the Kuapa Kokoo cooperative; a company that aims to change the way the chocolate industry works forever.

Hundreds of Faith, Labor, Human Rights Leaders Urge Restrictions on US Military Aid to the Philippines



Rev. Larry Emery, (916) 284-6986, wgcpc[at] (West Coast)

Katrina Abarcar, (410) 998-9802, katarungan[at] (East Coast)


Monday, February 9, 2009— 236 leaders of faith-based organizations, union and labor rights groups, Filipino-American associations and academics sent a letter of concern today to members of Congress protesting human rights abuses by the Philippines, funded by US foreign military assistance.

Super Bowl Halftime Sponsor Bridgestone Firestone Continues to Exploit Workers in Liberia


This Sunday, millions of sports fans around the world will watch this year’s National Football League (NFL) Super Bowl Halftime show sponsored by Bridgestone and featuring Bruce Springsteen. Meanwhile, the halftime show’s title sponsor will continue its long history of exploitation of workers and the environment in Liberia.

JC Penney Drops Oak Harbor Freight Lines as Shipper


National retailer JC Penney (NYSE: JCP) has stopped using Oak Harbor Freight Lines to ship its merchandise in the western United States. This decision comes on the heels of a report by the International Labor Rights Forum, which found that Oak Harbor Freight Lines has violated international labor rights standards. Teamster members employed by Oak Harbor Freight have been on strike since September 22 because of violations of federal labor laws that protect workers’ rights, such as coercing and threatening employees, and making unlawful changes to working conditions.

ILRF Reports Numerous Labor Rights Violations Committed by Oak Harbor Freight Lines


International Labor Rights Forum released a new report finding that Oak Harbor Freight Lines violated international labor rights standards. Oak Harbor is a trucking firm headquartered in Auburn, Washington, that provides over-the-road transportation and delivery services for many commercial clients, including the company’s the Gap, Inc., the Maytag Corporation and others.

Onslaught Against Trade Unions Claimed 91 Lives in 2007


The publication of this year’s ITUC Annual Survey of Trade Union Rights Violations reveals an appalling record of union-busting, anti-union laws, intimidation and violence against workers’ representatives in 2007. A worldwide total of 91 trade unionists were murdered for defending workers’ rights, with Colombia, where 39 lost their lives, by far the worst offender yet again.

New Report Shows the Cost of the Global Pineapple Industry to Workers and Communities




October 20, 2008


Bama Athreya, ILRF, (202) 701-3051

Eva Seidelman, ILRF (202) 347-4100, ext. 105

Victor Quesada or Omar Salazar,

ASEPROLA, Costa Rica, 011 (506) 285 1344, direccion [at]

Analea Escresa, EILER, The Philippines, alescresa [at]

New Report Shows the Cost of the Global Pineapple Industry to Workers and Communities

Swaziland: Trade Union Leader Arrested


The ITUC strongly protests against the arrest of Jan Sithole, secretary general of the Swaziland Federation of Trade Unions (SFTU), by the Swazi authorities.

According to the information received by the ITUC, Sithole has been subjected to intense harassment following a recent march organized by trade unions and other civil society groups against the participation of Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe and King Mswati III of Swaziland in a meeting of Southern African Development Community (SADC), which took place in Johannesburg on the 16th August 2008.

Social Investors and Human Rights Activists Pressure Government of Uzbekistan


Socially conscious shareholders, pension funds and human rights advocates have joined together to demand that the government of Uzbekistan stop using forced child labor in its cotton harvest. Every year, the government of Uzbekistan reportedly mobilizes hundreds of thousands of children - many from ten to fifteen years old - for the manual harvesting of cotton.

Firestone Plantation Workers in Liberia Reach Historic First Collective Agreement


Following four months of earnest bargaining between ICEM affiliate Firestone Agricultural Workers’ Union of Liberia (FAWUL) and management of the Firestone Rubber Plantation in the West African nation, the two sides reached a historic three-year collective agreement on 27 July.

The contract, the first between the two parties and one covering some over 4,500 workers, was signed on 6 August. Two days later, the FAWUL leadership team, together with officers of the newly-merged Liberian Labor Congress, briefed President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf on the agreement.