The International Labor Rights Forum’s new paper, “Future of Fashion: Worker-Led Strategies for Corporate Accountability in the Global Apparel Industry,” published today coinciding with the OECD Forum on Due Diligence in the Garment and Footwear Sector, calls attention to the failures of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and multistakeholder initiatives to address and remedy the persistent exploitation of millions of apparel industry workers.
Two weeks after Fyffes signed an agreement recognizing STAS (el Sindicato de Trabajadores de la Agroindustria y Similares) as the legitimate union representative of workers employed at Fyffes’ melon subsidiaries in Honduras, union members are reporting harassment and intimidation.
This week labor activists and trade unionists around the world are expressing their solidarity with garment workers in Bangladesh through demonstrations in front of Bangladeshi embassies and consulates in cities around the world. Through this week of global solidarity action, activists, unionists and consumers are calling for living wages, safe factories, and a halt to repression against garment workers in Bangladesh.
Miembros del sindicato a ser recontratados la proxima semana; la negociacion colectiva a empezar en febrero
El 11 de enero, Fyffes firmó un acuerdo que reconoce al STAS, el Sindicato de Trabajadores de la Agroindustria y Similares, como el legítimo representante sindical de lxs trabajadorxs empleados en las melóneras de Fyffes en Honduras.
Union members to be rehired next week; collective bargaining to commence in February
On January 11, Fyffes signed an agreement recognizing STAS – el Sindicato de Trabajadores de la Agroindustria y Similares – as the legitimate union representative of workers employed at Fyffes’ melon subsidiaries in Honduras. Fyffes is an Irish multinational company owned by the Japanese conglomerate Sumitomo, and one of the largest fruit brands in the world and the top importer of winter-season melons to the U.S. market.
Forty-six environmental groups, academic organizations, human rights organizations, labor unions, faith-based groups and other civil society organizations have vowed to oppose any “hateful rhetoric and acts of violence, intimidation or persecution” by the incoming government of Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil, as they proclaim in an open statement today.
Uzbekistan’s 2018 cotton harvest, which concluded in all regions of the country the first week of December, showcased the enormous challenges in uprooting the country’s deeply entrenched forced labor system. Driven by a commitment to reform at the highest levels of the government, there is a significant transition underway, which is reflected in some encouraging signs of progress.
Following an open letter to Fair Trade USA signed by 25 human rights, labor rights, and faith-based organizations, Fair Trade USA has suspended Suragroh, a melon company in Honduras owned by Fyffes, one of the largest global fruit brands and the top importer of winter-season melons to the U.S. market.
On December 29, Thailand voted to ratify the International Labour Organization Convention on Work in Fishing (No. 188), a point that the International Labor Rights Form has campaigned for following the ILO’s adoption of the Convention in 2007. Thailand is the first Asian country to ratify the Convention. This Convention sets the bar that working conditions on Thai fishing vessels must meet and is an important step towards eliminating labor abuses in the supply chains of international brands sourcing seafood from Thailand.
Coalition of Unions, Advocates, Fair Trade Companies and Retailers Calls on Fair Trade Certifier to Decertify Fyffes’ Subsidiary for Labor Abuses
A coalition of unions, farmworkers, fair trade advocates, ethical businesses and retailers is confronting Fair Trade USA (FTUSA), a US-based fair trade certification agency, for ignoring human rights abuses and its own standards in certifying a Honduran melon grower with a long history of violations.
84,000 Demand Freedom for Journalist Gaspar Matalaev
Protesters gathered outside the United Nations headquarters in New York today demanded an end to state-sponsored forced labor in Turkmenistan’s cotton industry and presented a petition signed by over 84,000 people from around the world that urged the Turkmen government immediately release Gaspar Matalaev and allow him to continue his work safety. The demonstration was during Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov’s first visit to the United States in three years.
Research findings published today reveal that many workers making H&M’s clothes live below the poverty line -- despite H&M’s promise of a living wage by 2018, and despite the brand’s recent deceptive claims of progress. Interviewed workers in India and Turkey earn about a third and in Cambodia less than one-half of the estimated living wage. In Bulgaria interviewed workers’ salary at H&M’s “gold supplier” is not even 10 per cent of what would be required for workers and their families to have decent lives.
In a climate of fear and intimidation and after months of delays, Bangladeshi authorities have announced the new monthly minimum wage of 8,000 taka (USD 95) for the 4.5 million workers in the garment sector in Bangladesh. This amount shows complete disregard for legitimate workers' unions and for the need to set wages through social dialogue.
Public sector workers not mobilized en masse to work in Uzbek cotton fields in Spring 2018
For the first time in years, public sector workers were not forcibly mobilized to plant and weed cotton in Uzbekistan in spring 2018, although serious structural problems in the cotton sector threaten to undermine this development. The Uzbek-German Forum, a Cotton Campaign member, released these findings in a report published today.