In the News

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.

Colombia: Trade unionists face alarming resurgence in death threats and forced displacements

International Confederation of Free Trade Unions Online bulletin 154/041103

International Confederation of Free Trade Unions

Online bulletin 154/041103

November 4, 2003

The ICFTU is gravely concerned at the recent and alarming resurgence in death threats against and forced displacement of trade unionists in Colombia. This climate of violence would appear to be related to the political context, which last week saw the failure of the referendum called by the head of state, as well as the rise of a new opposition force with the election of former trade unionist Luis Eduardo Garzon as mayor of Bogotá.

Too Many Brains Pack Kenya's Free Schools

Washington Post Foreign Service

Lack of Teachers, Inadequate Funding Hamper Efforts

to Fulfill President's Campaign Vow

By Emily Wax

HOMA BAY, Kenya -- The tree was sprawling, its trunk thick, its shade cool. But those weren't the reasons why a cherub-faced teacher with oversized glasses and a weakness for teaching "Romeo and Juliet" in Swahili decided to move his class of 150 fifth-grade students outside.

Legal Aid for China's Workers


By Mary Hennock

"We have money problems all the time, we're short of money for food, we can't pay the kids' tuition... it's hard because we haven't had money for more than a year," says Mr Li.

Mr Li is one of 40 mechanics at a transport firm who have been laid off and re-employed at below the minimum wage.

They look uneasy in the lush, green surroundings of Sun Yat-sen University, in the southern city of Guangzhou, where students run a legal aid clinic.

Mexico to Review Workers' Issues

Raleigh (NC) News and Observer


The Mexican government will investigate complaints about the treatment of Mexican farmworkers in North Carolina as part of a federal "guest worker" program.

The decision comes in response to a petition submitted early this year by the Farmworker Justice Fund in Washington and the Central Independiente de Obreros Agricolas y Campesinos in Mexico, another farmworker advocacy group.

Colombian Air Force Chief Quits

Los Angeles Times

General resigns amid U.S. pressure and new evidence suggesting that pilots knowingly fired on civilians during a 1998 bombing raid.

By T. Christian Miller

Times Staff Writer

BOGOTA, Colombia — The head of the Colombian air force resigned Monday after growing pressure from the U.S. State Department and startling new evidence suggesting that Colombian pilots knowingly fired on civilians in a 1998 bombing raid directed by private American contractors that left 18 people dead.