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.
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.
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.
Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Congressman Eliot Engel (D-NY) today made the following statements in response to the findings of their congressionally mandated report on the cocoa industry’s progress in eradicating child labor.
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.
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.
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.
The United Steelworkers (USW) today hailed the signing of a landmark labor agreement between FAWUL (Firestone Agricultural Workers Union of Liberia) and Firestone. The new collective bargaining agreement covers more than 4,000 union members and provides significant gains for workers at one of the world's largest rubber plantations.
Trina Tocco, International Labor Rights Forum, Mobile (269) 873-1000, Trina.tocco [at] ilrf.org
Group celebrates Mother’s Day at Home by Supporting Working Moms Abroad
The International Labor Rights Forum is hosting the Mother’s Day Roses Raffle to offer people throughout the United States a chance to send a special gift to a loved one while also advancing the rights of women in the Latin American rose industry.
The Congress of South African Trade Unions welcomes the statement by a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman that the China Ocean Shipping Company which owns the An Yue Jiang, has decided to recall the ship because Zimbabwe cannot take delivery of the 77 tonnes of weapons and ammunition onboard.
If true, this is an historic victory for the international trade union movement and civil society, and in particular for the South African Transport and Allied Workers Union, whose members refused to unload or transport its deadly cargo.
Agricultural corporations Cargill and Archer Daniels Midland have started an aggressive lobbying effort to drop a provision from the Farm Bill which would establish a voluntary certification program related to imports made using forced labor and child labor.
In recognition of the extraordinary courage, strength and solidarity of Liberian rubber workers at one of the world’s largest rubber plantations, we are proud to nominate the Firestone Agricultural Workers Union of Liberia (FAWUL) for the 2007 George Meany-Lane Kirkland Human Rights Award.