THIS IS A PAGE ABOUT LABOR & HUMAN RIGHTS
CorpWatch interviews John Barton, Organizing Coordinator, Building Service Division, of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), and links up with other groups organizing for worker health and safety.
You may know that in January, 2000, dozens of freelance reporters from across the Americas, Europe and Asia went on strike against Pacifica Network News (PNN) to protest a wave of censorship engulfing the nation's oldest, listener-sponsored radio network. This labor action is part of a broader, national effort involving thousands to save Pacifica from an elite, corporate-style take-over from the top.
Jamie Leigh Jones was just 20 in 2005 when she took a leap of faith to work in Iraq for her employer, military contractor Kellogg, Brown & Root, then a subsidiary of Halliburton. She went on a mission she believed in. Shortly after her arrival in Iraq, however, Jones' ambitions were dashed in an alleged gang rape by co-workers.
In April this year, with much fanfare, US President Bill Clinton announced the introduction of a new ''No Sweatshop'' Code of Conduct for US Apparel and Footwear companies. The code is voluntary, but high profile companies like Nike Inc., Reebok International Ltd. and Liz Claiborne Inc. were among the ten initial signatories. These companies agreed that a set of minimum standards for working conditions in factories would be adhered to in the production of their goods -- wherever that production occurs.
Amid growing concern over a wave of cutbacks in corporate pension plans for employees, the CEOs of top U.S. companies would receive "golden pensions" that range from $2 million to $6.5 million a year, according to a study by the AFL-CIO union federation.
Last week, Ms. Julin, who has remarried, and the widows of the four other men filed a lawsuit against Chiquita Brands International Inc., saying the company contributed to their husbands' deaths by financing the leftist group.
President Gloria Arroyo has ordered an investigation into reports that Filipino workers were forced to go to Iraq to work on the U.S. embassy there despite a ban on them traveling there. A report from the watchdog organization CorpWatch said that "other South Asians" were indeed working for First Kuwait Trading and Contracting in Iraq.
The U.N.'s Global Compact with international big business "at the moment is so voluntary that it really is a happy-go-lucky club," says Ramesh Singh, chief executive of ActionAid, a non-governmental organisation. The controversy has come to a boiling point because of the Global Compact Leaders' Summit being held in Geneva on Thursday and Friday, at which over 1,000 representatives of multinational companies are taking part, in addition to well-known civil society figures like Irene Khan, the secretary general of AI; Mary Robinson, president of the Ethical Globalisation Initiative; Guy Ryder, general secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation; and Jeremy Hobbs, executive director of Oxfam International.
Chiquita, the global banana producer, was ordered to face a federal court over their role in paying off right wing death squads in Colombia that are alleged to have used "random and targeted violence" against villagers in exchange for financial assistance and access to Chiquita's private port.
Four former employees of Polo Ralph Lauren filed a lawsuit today in San Francisco Superior Court against the Polo Ralph Lauren Corporation, alleging that the company repeatedly violated the rights of its employees, according to Patrick Kitchin, a lawyer for the plaintiffs.