Global Trade

This year's cause celebre was the campaign to end the use of sweatshop labor by the $2.5-billion collegiate apparel industry. Undergraduates nationwide demanded their colleges quit the Fair Labor Association (FLA) -- an industry-backed watchdog that opponents liken to a fox guarding the hen house -- and join the Worker Rights Consortium. Founded by students, academics, and labor unions last October, the WRC promises strict workplace oversight, free from industry influence.
Health Minister K.K. Ramachandran on Monday said the Government "would not allow the bottling plant of Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages Pvt. Ltd. at Plachimada to reopen against the will of the people." (Mr. Ramachandran is the first Minister to have visited Plachimada where the local people have been waging an agitation for the last three years demanding the closure of the company for allegedly exploiting the groundwater, leading to shortage of water for drinking and irrigation purposes.)
What exactly are maquiladoras? What do they produce and do they pay a living wage? Which companies operate on the border? These are just a few of the questions answered in our fact sheet and map.
Olam International, a Singapore based multinational, is growing coffee for export in Paksong, southern Laos. The land for the plantation was seized by Sonesay Siphandone, the district governor, from the upland Nha Huen/Yahern community who have been left without food to eat.
While the world's biggest CEOs and politicians gather in Davos, Switzerland to network and negotiate, activists and NGO-workers meet halfway around the world in Porto Alegre, Brazil to imagine other, more humanity-focused possibilities.
In Mexico, The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which took effect on January 1, 1994, has resulted in worsening economic and social conditions and increasing violations of human rights for working people, peasants, aboriginal communities and others.
NEW YORK -- Domini Social Investments, manager of the Domini Social Equity Fund, announced today that it has filed nine shareholder resolutions for the 2002 proxy season and is engaged in ten separate dialogues with companies on a range of social and environmental issues.
Labor rights groups long have documented low pay and strict management in Chinese factories. But as Western firms increasingly move manufacturing to China to cut costs and raise profits, activists are adopting a strategy of publicizing conditions at globally recognized companies including Foxconn, which supplies dozens of international brands such as Apple Inc. from its Shenzhen facilities.
While the world braces for a US war against Iraq, Washington is using its newly inked Free Trade Agreement with Jordan to open sweatshops and secure an ally in the region.