In the News

Fiscalía llama a juicio a tres miembros de la FAC


Bogotá...Por la muerte de 17 campesinos en la localidad de Santo Domingo, Arauca, la Fiscalía llamó a juicio a tres miembros de la Fuerza aérea Colombiana sindicados de los delitos de homicidio culposo y lesiones personales culposas.

La medida cobija al capitán de la Fuerza Aérea Colombiana (FAC), César Romero Pradilla; teniente Johan Jiménez Valencia y el técnico Héctor Mario Hernández Acosta.

African Girls' Route to School Is Still Littered With Obstacles

New York Times

KOUTAGBA, Benin — For as long as anyone could remember, the girls of this village had been forbidden to go to school. They were to be educated instead by the local voodoo priest, in a secret rite of passage not to be spoken about to anyone. When they finished, they were to be married. They and their children were to forever enjoy the protection of the voodoo priest.

U.S. Arrests Iraqi Union Leaders

Pacific News Service

David Bacon

Editor's Note: There's another kind of battle being waged in Iraq -- the struggle for worker's rights. Iraqi union organizers say the U.S. authority is working against them.

SAN FRANCISCO--U.S. occupation forces in Iraq escalated their efforts to paralyze Iraq's new labor unions with a series of arrests this weekend.

Ruse in Toyland: Chinese Workers' Hidden Woe

The New York Times



SHENZHEN, China — Workers at Kin Ki Industrial, a leading Chinese toy maker, make a decent salary, rarely work nights or weekends and often "hang out along the street, play Ping-Pong and watch TV."

They all have work contracts, pensions and medical benefits. The factory canteen offers tasty food. The dormitories are comfortable.

Grocery Unions Battle to Stop Invasion

Los Angeles Times

Wal-Mart plans to open 40 of its nonunion Supercenters in California. Labor is fighting the expected onslaught, but the big retailer rarely concedes defeat.

By Nancy Cleeland and Abigail Goldman, Times Staff Writers

Inglewood seemed to offer the perfect home for a new Wal-Mart Supercenter, with low-income residents hungry for bargains and a mayor craving the sales-tax revenue that flows from big-box stores.

The Wal-Martization of America

New York Times Editorial

The 70,000 grocery workers on strike in Southern California are the front line in a battle to prevent middle-class service jobs from turning into poverty-level ones. The supermarkets say they are forced to lower their labor costs to compete with Wal-Mart, a nonunion, low-wage employer aggressively moving into the grocery business. Everyone should be concerned about this fight. It is, at bottom, about the ability of retail workers to earn wages that keep their families out of poverty.

Mexico's Dropout Economy

Washington Post

By Kevin Sullivan and Mary Jordan

ECATEPEC, Mexico -- Jesus Santana Hernandez opened his refrigerator and looked at the contents: a bottle of water and an onion. His mother was at work washing dishes in a taco joint. So it fell to Jesus, a wiry 12-year-old, to feed his three younger brothers and sisters. The onion was no help. He grabbed the water.

An Empire Built on Bargains

LA Times

Wal-Mart is so powerful that it moves the economies of entire countries, bringing profit and pain. The prices can’t be beat, but the wages can.

By Abigail Goldman and Nancy Cleeland, Times Staff Writers

LAS VEGAS — Chastity Ferguson kept watch over four sleepy children late one Friday as she flipped a pack of corn dogs into a cart at her new favorite grocery store: Wal-Mart.