Thread: NEWSFEED: International Union Struggles

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  1. #261
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    IUF News

    Fresh fruit giant Fyffes is bashing rights

    Defend Kazakhstan's independent trade unions!

    Fruit giant Fyffes told it must ensure its workers’ rights are respected


    Fresh fruit giant Fyffes is bashing rights

    Posted: 24 Jan 2017 02:22 AM PST



    Workers at transnational fruit giant Fyffes subsidiaries in Costa Rica (pineapples) and Honduras (melons) report serious and systematic violations of basic labour rights, ncluding threats, harassment and sacking of union members, blocking collective bargaining processes, failure to pay minimum wages and social insurance, exposing workers to hazardous agrochemicals and sacking pregnant workers. Fyffes is the number one importer of bananas to Europe, and among the largest global marketers for supersweet pineapples and winter season melons. CLICK HERE TO SEND A MESSAGE TO FYFFES!


    Defend Kazakhstan's independent trade unions!

    Posted: 23 Jan 2017 08:19 AM PST

    The authoritarian government of Kazakhstan has stepped up its aggressive drive to completely eliminate independent trade unions in the country. Following years of legal and political harassment of workers' organizations that escaped government control, on January 4 a court ordered the legal dissolution of the Confederation of Independent Trade Unions of Kazakhstan (KNPRK). CLICK HERE TO SEND A MESSAGE TO THE GOVERNMENT OF KAZAKHSTAN


    Fruit giant Fyffes told it must ensure its workers’ rights are respected

    Posted: 23 Jan 2017 12:16 AM PST

    The IUF and the Make Fruit Fair network are calling on Irish fruit transnational Fyffes to end rights abuses on its subsidiary plantations. At the Emergency General Meeting on January 16, 2017 to confirm the takeover of Fyffes by Japanese conglomerate Sumitomo, protesters demanded that Fyffes reinstate workers sacked and blacklisted for joining trade unions in Costa Rica and Honduras, pay unpaid wages, holiday entitlement, education grants and social security contributions, and compensate workers unfairly dismissed because they became pregnant.

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  2. #262
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    Take Action: Urge Brands to Help Free Labor Activists


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    Dear Chris,

    Dozens of labor leaders and workers are facing falsified criminal charges as part of a crackdown on the labor movement in Bangladesh. At least 24 activists have been jailed in harsh conditions where they've received death threats.

    Please sign our petition calling on H&M, Gap, Inditex (Zara), VF (North Face), and C&A to urge their suppliers to withdraw the charges and press for the activists to be released from jail.



    The man peering through the bars of a police van in the photo above is Ibrahim, an organizer with the Bangladesh Center for Worker Solidarity in Ashulia, who was arrested on December 21st after attending a meeting called by the industrial police to discuss wage-related demonstrations. Ibrahim reports that while in police custody he has been threatened with death by "crossfire." He remains in jail after his request for bail was denied.

    The minimum wage in Bangladesh's garment industry is equal to an appallingly low US$67 a month. This wage has been fixed since 2013 and is not due to be reviewed for at least another year. Meanwhile, the cost of living has increased dramatically: more than 6% per year since 2013. Workers who already couldn't cover basic expenses on these low wages are now struggling even harder to survive. In December, with no other route for raising their frustrations and demands, workers at dozens of factories held peaceful walk-outs and demonstrations for a higher wage. Instead of agreeing to pay a living wage, or even to bring forward a wage review, factory owners brought unsubstantiated criminal charges against dozens of labor leaders and garment workers.

    Of the 24 activists and workers already arrested, all remain in police custody and have been denied bail. Some, like Ibrahim, have received threats of torture or death. The charges also include hundreds of "unnamed" workers, allowing factory owners to simply add workers they see as troublemakers to the list whenever they wish. In addition, over 1500 workers have been dismissed from their jobs and potentially blacklisted from future garment work.

    Some apparel brands and retailers have sent a joint letter of concern to Bangladesh's Prime Minister, but that is not enough. All companies sourcing from the factories behind the falsified charges must insist that their suppliers withdraw the charges and urge the government to free the activists. Click here to call on H&M and the other companies to act now!

    In solidarity,

    Liana Foxvog



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  3. #263
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    Union members sacked, assaulted, blackmailed, kicked out of company housing - welcome to Kyiv


    "Union members were blackmailed, deprived of their bonuses, suspended​ from the job, evicted from the company-provided housing, and physically ​attacked.​"

    This story takes place in a European capital city -- Kyiv, Ukraine.

    In April 2016 workers of the state-owned ​transport enterprise Kyivpastrans ​formed an independent union to fight against violations of safety standards ​​. The administration responded with ​a refusal to recognise the union, ​pressure​, threats and intimidation of the members of the union​.

    This is completely unacceptable behaviour and the workers in Kyiv have asked for our support in an online campaign to put pressure on the local government to respect workers' rights.

    Please take a moment to show your support here:

    http://www.labourstart.org/go/kyiv

    Meanwhile in Egypt, workers at the IFFCO edible oils factory in Suez are fighting to defend their independent union. On 3 January, police stormed the factory and arrested 13 striking workers. Twenty-three IFFCO workers and union leaders now face crippling fines and jail terms for the 'crime' of holding a strike to defend their wages. Learn more and support their campaign on the IUF website.

    And please share this message with your friends, family and fellow union members.

    Thank you.



    Eric Lee


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  4. #264
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    Headlines@IndustriALL #227 - Victory for metalworkers in Turkey


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    #227



    Victory for metalworkers in Turkey



    Strike action by over 2,000 workers in Turkey has paid off as IndustriALL Global Union affiliate Birleşik Metal İş, wins a major victory in securing a better deal for metalworkers.

    Some 2,200 workers at three companies and 13 plants across Turkey began strike action on Friday 20 January, after union collective bargaining negotiations with major electrical equipment multinationals, Schneider, General Electric and ABB, broke down.

    Read more




    South African union saves mineworkers’ jobs

    Demonstrating the power of dialogue, a strong trade union and enabling legislation, the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) in South Africa has successfully averted the loss of 849 jobs.

    Read more




    Bangladesh: union signs collective agreement with Donglian Fashion in major turnaround

    **UPDATED** The Donglian Fashion Sommilito Sramik Union has signed a collective agreement with the company, setting an important precedent.

    Read more




    Two oil union leaders arrested in Kazakhstan

    Trade union rights are rapidly deteriorating in Kazakhstan. On 21 January, police in Aktau arrested two union leaders from the Confederation of Independent Trade Unions of the Republic of Kazakhstan (CNTUK). The CNTUK was recently dissolved by authorities.

    Read more




    Why I went to Davos

    By Valter Sanches, General Secretary, IndustriALL Global Union

    Read more


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  5. #265
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    IUF News

    Champ Resto fast food workers in Indonesia keep up their struggle for justice

    Posted: 27 Jan 2017 06:01 AM PST



    With the support of the IUF-affiliated FSPM, workers unfairly dismissed from
    Indonesia's Champ Resto fast food chain last year continue their fight
    for reinstatement and for the medical insurance workers are illegally
    denied.

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  6. #266
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    Hungary: Attacks on union leaders prompt warnings of a new era of anti-unionism


    Four union leaders in Budapest have been sacked and locked out of union offices by their employer.

    Trade unionists in Hungary have expressed concerns that this may be the beginning of a "a new era of anti-unionism in the country."

    What had the union leaders done to prompt such an attack?

    During negotiations with their employer, they demanded a fair wage increase and expressed their readiness to resort to strike action if necessary.

    Their union has asked us to launch an online campaign, and I'm asking you take a moment to show them your support today:

    http://www.labourstart.org/go/hungary

    Meanwhile, in Costa Rica and Honduras, farm workers employed by transnational food giant Fyffes report serious and systematic violations of basic labour rights, including threats, harassment and sacking of union members, blocking collective bargaining processes, failure to pay minimum wages and social insurance, exposing workers to hazardous agrochemicals and sacking pregnant workers. The IUF has launched a global campaign to support these workers -- please click here to show your support.

    And please share this message with your friends, family and fellow union members.

    Thank you.



    Eric Lee


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  7. #267
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    Thousands of Nigerian dockworkers need our support in their struggle

    Thousands of dockworkers in Nigeria are struggling to support their families since losing their jobs in December 2015.

    Tally clerks and security men, members of the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria, were effectively fired by the National Ports Authority without any permanent alternative jobs or income.

    This means they are not meeting the standards Nigeria agreed to by ratifying the International Labour Organization's Dock Worker Convention 1973 (No. 137).

    Tell the Nigerian government to intervene now to help find a resolution and protect workers' rights:

    http://www.labourstart.org/go/nigeria

    And please share this message with your friends, family and fellow union members.

    Thank you.



    Eric Lee

    P.S. Want to know which of our recent campaigns you may have missed? Click here to find out.
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  8. #268
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    Joint Action in Tokyo and Seoul; plus British Airways workers strike - Next Labor Beat CAN TV 19, starts 2/2


    A Two-Segment Show:

    Chicago - CAN TV Channel 19
    Thursday, Feb. 2, 9:30 pm
    Friday, Feb. 3, 4:30 pm
    Thursday, Feb. 9, 9:30 pm
    Friday, Feb. 10, 4:30 pm

    Joint Action in Tokyo and Seoul

    In November of 2016 Chicago bus driver and union activist Erek Slater, by invitation, traveled to Tokyo and Seoul to participate in labor solidarity meetings and actions coordinated by unions in both countries. The Japanese transit union Doro-Chiba, among other Japanese unions, and the Korean KCTU (Korean Confederation of Trade Unions - Seoul region) have been conducting joint actions for several years. Includes huge labor rallies in Seoul and mass demonstrations to impeach the Korean President. Also action to defend threatened “Comfort Woman” statue. Can also be viewed at: https://youtu.be/7jyvsyXLdW4

    + YouTube Video
    ERROR: If you can see this, then YouTube is down or you don't have Flash installed.




    Detail of flyer for the November 20116 Joint Action.

    Second Segment:
    British Airways workers strike
    A report on the January 2017 strike produced by our friends at Reel News in the UK.



    Produced by Labor Beat. Labor Beat is a CAN TV Community Partner. Labor Beat is a non-profit 501(c)(3) member of IBEW 1220. Views are those of the producer Labor Beat. For info: mail@laborbeat.org, www.laborbeat.org. 312-226-3330. Labor Beat, 37 S. Ashland Ave., Chicago, IL 60607. For other Labor Beat videos, visit YouTube and search "Labor Beat". On Chicago CAN TV Channel 19, Thursdays 9:30 pm; Fridays 4:30 pm. Labor Beat is a regular cable-tv series in Chicago, Rockford, Urbana, IL; Philadelphia, PA; Princeton, NJ; Cambridge, MA.
  9. #269
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    Living Wages Not Jail

    Green America

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    Dear Chris,

    Dozens of activists and garment workers in Bangladesh have been arrested and are being held in police custody, without bail, just because they asked for higher wages.

    Some have received threats of torture or death.

    Peaceful demonstrators should NOT be jailed.

    Tell North Face, H&M, and Gap to stop the falsified charges and demand release of the jailed activists and workers!

    In December, these workers from dozens of garment factories, frustrated with extremely low wages that couldn't even cover basic expenses, held peaceful walk-outs and demonstrations for a higher wage.

    Instead of agreeing to pay a living wage, or even to bring forward a wage review, factory owners brought unsubstantiated criminal charges against dozens of labor leaders and garment workers.

    Demand the release of these labor workers.

    Many are being charged under a section of law that has already been removed from the statutes. These charges also include hundreds of "unnamed" workers, allowing factory owners to simply add workers they see as troublemakers to the list whenever they wish. Over 1500 workers have been reportedly dismissed from their jobs and potentially blacklisted from future garment work.

    H&M, Gap Inc (owns Banana Republic and Old Navy), C&A, Inditex (owns Zara and Bershka), and VF (owns 30 brands including North Face, Jansport, and Lee) all use the factories behind the complaints.

    Tell these clothing companies to take immediate action for the dismissal of the falsified charges and the release of the jailed activists and workers!

    Thank you for all you do to create a greener world.

    Caroline Chen

    Caroline Chen
    Social Justice Campaigns Manager
    Green America



    P.S. Your support means we can do even more to help grow a green economy that truly works for people and the planet. Please contribute today.
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  10. #270
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    Headlines@IndustriALL #229 - Bangladesh crackdown calls preferential EU trade deal into question


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    #229



    Bangladesh crackdown calls preferential EU trade deal into question



    The latest crackdown on Bangladesh’s garment workers for demanding relief from poverty wages and hazardous working conditions must call into question the country’s continuing eligibility for trade preferences under the EU’s GSP regime, write Valter Sanches IndustriALL General Secretary, Philip Jennings UNI Global Union General Secretary and Sharan Burrow, General Secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation.

    Nearly four years ago, in April 2013, the world watched in horror as the Rana Plaza building collapsed, killing more than 1,100 garment workers and injuring many more.

    Read more




    Algerian union leader gets jail sentence for whistleblowing

    IndustriALL Global Union is calling on the Algerian government to drop charges against a union leader sentenced to six months in jail after revealing corruption at the state-owned energy company Sonelgaz.

    Read more




    Hungary: workers put jobs on the line to defend sacked union leader

    Workers at the Richard Fritz car window factory in Aszód, Hungary, braved management threats of dismissal to take part in a demonstration demanding the reinstatement of sacked union leader Edit Kovács.

    Read more




    Global Unions and LafargeHolcim to develop Global Framework Agreement

    Global trade unions represented by IndustriALL Global Union and Building and Wood Worker's International (BWI) met with representatives of LafargeHolcim on 23 January 2017 to launch the process for developing a Global Framework Agreement.

    Read more


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  11. #271
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    Philippines: luxury Peninsula Manila hotel still victimizing union leaders



    The Peninsula Employees Union and Manila Pen Supervisors Chapter, members of the IUF-affiliated NUWHRAIN, have negotiated improvements in the CBA and better working conditions for housekeepers. Last year, union action secured unprecedented government inspections of working conditions at hotels. The Manila Peninsula was ordered to regularize 405 casual employees including 55 housekeepers at the hotel.

    Peninsula management resisted implementation of the order, and used the union’s participation in the global housekeeper campaign to sack union leader Jenny Marcos and to suspend for 15 days union officers Cesar Pagaling and Francisco Aliansas. Management also supported a yellow union to challenge the NUWHRAIN unions’ legal certification for collective bargaining. The company union was soundly defeated in an election on January 30, but management has reneged on an agreement negotiated under government auspices which would have suspended rather than terminated Jenny Marcos and allowed NUWHRAIN to contest the disciplinary measures through the customary legal channels. As a result, the Office of the Secretary of Labor and Employment has assumed final jurisdiction, with the authority to impose a binding decision

    Tell management of the Manila Peninsula to reinstate Jenny Marcos, stop harassing Cesar Pagaling and Francisco Aliansas and negotiate in good faith with the NUWHRAIN unions at the hotel. If you haven’t already done so, CLICK HERE TO SEND A MESSAGE

    E-mail: iuf@iuf.org
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  12. #272
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    IUF News

    Egypt: Court acquits IFFCO workers of 'incitement' but union leaders, members still barred from work

    Posted: 02 Feb 2017 03:40 AM PST

    On January 29 nineteen IFFCO workers were acquitted in a Suez court of 'inciting' a strike after the company filed criminal charges and security forces descended from a fleet of 50 vehicles to swoop down on the Suez factory where workers were conducting a peaceful sit-in over the grossly unfair distribution of a much-needed end-of-year bonus. While the court has cleared them of criminal charges 17 IFFCO workers including the union President, Vice-President and General Secretary are barred from returning to work. If you have not yet been able to do so CLICK HERE to send a protest message to the company and to the President of Egypt

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  13. #273
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    Does sending a protest email make a difference?



    Huber Ballesteros, now free.


    Every week or two, I ask you to send email messages of protest and solidarity. Many thousands of you click the links and send the messages. But do they make a difference?

    Ask Huber Ballesteros.

    Huber, a Colombian trade unionist, was the subject of two LabourStart online campaigns in 2013 and 2014. Almost 19,000 of you sent messages of protest demanding his release. He has now been freed -- in part, thanks to your efforts.

    According to Justice for Colombia, a UK-based campaigning organisation, "The support for the campaign to release Huber throughout that time has been overwhelming: letters from trade unions to the Colombian authorities, MPs bringing his case up in Parliament, delegations visiting him in jail, individuals writing Christmas cards and messages of supports, and thousands signing two separate petitions calling for his release. There is no doubt that alongside the international campaign for Huber's release those acts of solidarity have played an essential role in not only securing Huber’s freedom, but also forcing the prison authorities to show some minimal respect for his rights whilst he was in prison."

    Right now, we have a relatively large number of active campaigns. Every message you send increases the changes of workers winning.

    Want to know which of our recent campaigns you may have missed? Click here to find out.

    Thank you.



    Eric Lee
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    World's Tobacco Workers Pledge to FIGHT TOGETHER


    Chris,
    Last week, FLOC Founder and President Baldemar Velasquez traveled to Yangon, Myanmar to invite agricultural workers to join FLOC in a global call to implement human rights for agricultural workers. Tobacco workers across the world deal with many of the same issues such as poverty wages, child labor, sexual harassment, lack of access to water, and job insecurity. It's necessary for agricultural workers to fight together in an international effort to improve working conditions within the supply chain of Reynolds American and other powerful tobacco companies.



    During the World Conference of Agricultural Workers’ Unions, representatives from unions in Africa, Latin America, Europe, and Asia pledged to fight with FLOC in a global call for action. A declaration was ratified which calls on Reynolds American and other tobacco companies to guarantee the right to freedom of association by creating a practical mechanism that allows workers to negotiate the conditions of their labor without fear of being fired or retaliated against. Click here to read more about the declaration!

    [President Velasquez] said the global “call for action” represents a coordinated step toward protecting agricultural workers across the world, and he vowed to take international tobacco companies to task who won’t allow their laborers to organize. “Each country, with the support of all the organized unions, will trigger an economic pressure on the tobacco companies to make good on freedom of association, the right to represent ourselves,” he said, adding union leaders are laying the groundwork for a global boycott of some tobacco distributors. “This will get their attention.”
    “Toledo FLOC leader issues ‘call to action’”, Toledo Blade, Feb. 3, 2017

    To find out more about the Farm Labor Organizing Committee, AFL-CIO, please visit our website at www.floc.com.

    Sent via ActionNetwork.org. To update your email address or to stop receiving emails from Farm Labor Organizing Committee, AFL-CIO, please click here.
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    Default Headlines@IndustriALL #230 - Solidarity works! Sri Lankan workers vote for union

    Headlines@IndustriALL #230 - Solidarity works! Sri Lankan workers vote for union


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    #230


    Solidarity works! Sri Lankan workers vote for union



    Setting a strong standard for other workers in the Sri Lankan free trade zones, workers at industrial gloves manufacturer ATG voted to establish their union on 7 February.

    IndustriALL Global Union has been celebrating a good win for workers this week after the multinational gloves company failed in its attempt to kick out the union from its two factories in Sri Lanka.

    Read more




    Bangladesh: Free jailed unionists and workers

    Since December 2016 at least 26 trade unionists and garment workers have been jailed for trade union activity in Bangladesh, following demands to increase the minimum wage. Join IndustriALL Global Union in calling on the Bangladeshi government for their immediate release.

    Read more




    Machinists Union face crucial vote at Boeing in the US South

    A union election in the US South is seen as a test case for labour’s ability to organize under Trump.

    Read more




    IndustriALL and Solvay renew their global framework agreement for five years

    IndustriALL Global Union and Solvay have renewed their global framework agreement (GFA) for five years, reinforcing and adding commitments that provide the same basic labour and social rights to all Solvay employees at operations worldwide.

    Read more


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    IWC Newsletters No. 24 & 25 (English & Spanish)


    PRESENTATION TO IWC NEWSLETTER NO. 24 (February 3, 2017)

    Dear friends and comrades,

    In the present issue, number 24, of the Newsletter published weekly by the International Workers Committee against war and exploitation for a workers International ( IWC) :
    >> USA: Millions of Americans in the Street, Against Trump -- And Now What?

    Report by Alan Benjamin, editorial board member of "The Organizer" and trade union activist in San Francisco. He is also a member of the Continuations Committee of the International Workers Committee Against War and Exploitation, For a Workers' International.

    >> Iceland: "The European Union is one of the institutions of capital, and it can no more be reformed than capital can".

    A meeting held to report on the Mumbai Conference whose manifesto has been endorsed by the political party called People's Front.

    Fraternal greetings

    DANIEL GLUCKSTEIN
    NAMBIATH VASUDEVAN

    * * * * * * * * *

    PRESENTATION OF IWC NEWSLETTER NO. 25 (February 10, 2017)

    Dear friends and comrades

    In the present issue, number 25, of the Newsletter published weekly by the International Workers Committee against war and exploitation for a workers International (IWC):

    INDIA : A letter from Miland Ranade, general secretary of the KVSS-NTUI trade union and member of the Organisation Committee of the Mumbai Conference to the editor of the Lettre de la Vérité: "Channelling your energies to fight capitalism would yield fruitful results for the working class people than maligning each other".

    USA : A statement by John Samuelson, president of the New York Transport Workers Union (the TWU) following Trump's ban against allowing muslim people from countries of Middle East and Africa to enter the United States.


    Fraternal greetings

    DANIEL GLUCKSTEIN
    NAMBIATH VASUDEVAN

    4 attachments
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  17. #277
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    Jailed Activists, the Push Against Puzder and more


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    February 2017 E-News



    Save the Date: 2017 Labor Rights Defenders Awards
    ILRF Joins More than 100 Groups to Oppose Puzder
    Call for the Release of Jailed Activists in Bangladesh
    Global Campaign Launches in Support of Melon and Pineapple Workers in Central America
    ILO Identifies Forced Labor Risk in Uzbek Cotton Harvest
    Godiva: No Love for Cocoa Farmers
    Job Opening: Corporate Accountability Program Coordinator


    Save the Date: 2017 Labor Rights Defenders Awards



    Save the date for this year's Labor Rights Defenders Awards Ceremony & Reception, celebrating leading workers' rights advocates from around the world: Wednesday, May 24th at 5:30pm at Studio Theatre (1501 14th St. NW, Washington, DC 20005). Please join us in honoring:

    Eve Ensler, Playwright/Founder of V-Day and One Billion Rising
    Familias Unidas para la Justicia, a growing farmworker union in Washington State
    Sindicato de Trabajadores de la Agroindustria y Similares (STAS), a Honduran agricultural workers’ union

    Sponsorship opportunities are available here.


    ILRF Joins More than 100 Groups to Oppose Puzder



    Organizations concerned with labor rights and building a sustainable food system joined together to voice opposition to the nomination of fast food CEO Andrew Puzder for U.S. Secretary of Labor. Puzder has been a vocal critic against raising the minimum wage. The Department of Labor has found multiple labor law violations - including wage theft, employment discrimination and sexual harassment - at his restaurants, which include the Hardee's and Carl's Jr. chains. Puzder's record shows he is an irresponsible choice to head the department charged with protecting American workers. Join us now in speaking out against the #AntiLaborSecretary! If you're in the U.S. and haven't called your Senators yet, please call 202-224-3121 to ask them to oppose the Puzder nomination.


    Call for the Release of Jailed Activists in Bangladesh



    In December, workers from 20 garment factories in Bangladesh held peaceful walk-outs to call for a higher wage. The garment industry and the government of Bangladesh used the protests as an opportunity for a broad crackdown on labor. At least two dozen labor activists – many not involved in the strike – are being held in jail, without bail, since December. Nine more were arrested yesterday while attending a union training. And multiple union offices have been forcibly closed. This is an outrageous repression of workers' rights. Please join the actions taking place next week at Bangladesh’s embassies around the world. Join us in DC on February 15th to call on the government of Bangladesh to immediately release the detainees, dismiss all falsified complaints against organizers and workers, and end the repression of trade unions. And, if you haven't yet signed our petition to H&M, Gap, Inditex (Zara), and VF (North Face), click here.


    Global Campaign Launches in Support of Melon and Pineapple Workers in Central America



    Last month, USLEAP Fellow Gabriela Rosazza traveled to Costa Rica and Honduras to document labor violations taking place on Fyffes pineapple and melon plantations. After nearly two years of union-attempted dialogue with local management, USLEAP and allied organizations in Europe launched a global solidarity campaign called “Freedom and Fairness for Fyffes Workers.” The demand is for Fyffes to establish and implement a company-wide policy to ensure respect for workers’ rights throughout its supply chains. The fruit shows up in U.S. supermarkets under the Sol sticker. You can support this global campaign by checking the stickers on pineapples, melons and bananas at supermarkets in your area. Read this form first and then head to the supermarket chain nearest to you.


    ILO Identifies Forced Labor Risk in Uzbek Cotton Harvest



    For the second year in a row, the International Labour Organization (ILO) monitored forced and child labor in Uzbekistan’s cotton harvest. It released its final report on the 2016 harvest this week, which confirms high risk of forced labor in the government-run annual mobilization of cotton pickers. Although we agree with much in the report, ILRF is concerned about the methodology and many of the report’s conclusions, which in our view do not go far enough in challenging the Uzbek government's lack of progress in stopping the forced and child labor. Read more here.


    Godiva: No Love for Cocoa Farmers



    Before Valentine's Day, take action to show you demand fairly traded cocoa in your chocolate! Godiva remains one of the biggest industry laggards, taking no real action to rid forced and child labor from its cocoa supply chain. We're partnering with Green America to send Godiva a message. Send yours today!


    Job Opening: Corporate Accountability Program Coordinator



    ILRF seeks a skilled facilitator and popular educator with a strong feminist and power-based analysis to support grassroots worker leaders’ advocacy for effective corporate accountability. An ideal candidate will have familiarity with the anti-sweatshop movement, collective bargaining, union-brand agreements, and worker participation in factory monitoring as well as several years of previous experience with worker organizing and/or grassroots NGO capacity-building internationally. For further details, see the job description. Applications are due February 15.


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    Valentine's Day Actions


    If you're having trouble viewing this email, you may see it online


    Dear Chris,

    Valentine's Day comes every year with chocolate, flowers, and of course, love. Here at ILRF, we're turning these icons into action steps and using the day to stand in solidarity with workers. Choose an action from the options below, and spread the love a little farther than usual this year!

    If You Have a Sweet Tooth



    Flower Workers in Ecuador

    I know I'm always tempted by a tasty bite of dark chocolate. Unfortunately, the cocoa industry is rife with forced and child labor. Godiva remains one of the biggest industry laggards, taking no real action to rid forced and child labor from its cocoa supply chain. We're partnering with Green America to send Godiva a message. Send yours today!

    If You Can't Resist Roses

    Flower workers are at high risk of experiencing gender-based violence on the job, as well as exposure to pesticides and chemicals without proper protective equipment. Representative Keith Ellison introduced a resolution yesterday to recognize February 14th as International Flower Workers’ Day. Rep. Ellison said: “Flower workers in Colombia and around the world struggle under terrible working conditions to cultivate the beautiful bouquets we give to loved ones on special occasions, including Valentine’s Day. These workers face severe health risks from their jobs, yet aren’t paid enough to rise out of poverty. We should call out this injustice, and recognize the workers who cultivate the flowers. That’s why I’m introducing a resolution calling for February 14th to also be recognized as International Flower Workers’ Day.” If you're based in the US, call your representative at 202-224-3121 and ask them to co-sponsor this resolution.

    If You're Looking for Ways to Spread the Love

    In the tough year ahead, love will be a critical tool for activists. Not the Hallmark card kind of love, but a movement rooted in community love. Help reclaim Valentine's Day as a day of Revolutionary Love by using your love as a force for change. Head to a V-Day action near you: see One Billion Rising's map of hundreds of events. If you're looking for a digital action, here are a few sample tweets for today:

    Ask yr Rep to co-sponsor @keithellison's resolution to make #ValentinesDay International Flower Workers' Day. http://bit.ly/flwrwrks

    Support the campaign for @ILO convention on #GBV at work. Learn more & share yr story: http://ituc-csi.org/gender-based-violence #riseinsolidarity

    Help reclaim #ValentinesDay as a day of #RevolutionaryLove! Sign the declaration: http://revolutionarylove.net #1billionrising #riseinsolidarity

    In solidarity,

    Liana Foxvog



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    Stop the Repression in Mexicali! ¡Alto a la Represión en Mexicali!


    Stop the Repression in Mexicali, Free the Detained 12 Activists!

    Pronunciamiento en español adjunto; Por favor firme y haga firmar esta declaración!

    (Please endorse and urge your organization to endorse)

    Tijuana, Baja California, February 13, 2017

    To the people of Baja California
    To the Mexican people
    To the media
    To the three levels of government

    The signatories listed below stand together against the repressive acts that occurred at 8 am the morning of Monday, February 13th, 2017, where federal and municipal police forces of Mexicali violated the constitutional right of assembly and arrested a dozen comrades.

    The detained comrades are members, and in some cases, the spokespeople of the social movement that has been unleashed in Baja California and of which Mexicali is the spearhead. They were detained for exercising their right to assembly and for occupying the local government offices of the city of Mexicali; these actions were prompted by the stubbornness and lack of agreements on the part of the municipal administration led by Gustavo Sanchez Vasquez.

    The legitimate occupation of the municipal government offices was peaceful at all times. Thus, there is not a single reason that justifies the repression and detention of the comrades.

    In response to these condemnable actions, we demand:

    1. The immediate and unconditional release of all of those 12 detained, as well as the release of their confiscated possessions.
    2. The immediate halt to any type of intimidations, provocations, and/or harassment towards protestors by the military or political entity of any of the three levels of government.
    3. The opening of an investigation against the intellectual authors and perpetrators of any injuries suffered by detained comrades.
    4. A full and complete respect for the Rights of Assembly and Free Speech granted by the Mexican Constitution.

    We are categorically opposed to any attempt to criminalize social protest. If the people of Baja California saw it fit and necessary to take to the streets, to shut down government offices, and to demand their rights, it is due to the lack of capacity, sensibility, and attention from all three levels of government, not due to a whim or to an electoral issue.

    We demand that these issues and demands from the people of Baja California be settled through dialogue with authorities.

    Signing Organizations
    Members of the Asamblea Popular de Tijuana, INGAPE Tijuana, Mujeres en Resistencia, Tijuana por Ayotzinapa, Defensores del Parque Benito Juárez, Movimiento Ateo Feminista Internacional, Ciudadanos Unidos de Tijuana, Chinguemos a Peña 664, Estudiantes en Defensa de la Universidad Pública, Unión UABC, Tijuana Movimiento Estudiantil, Grupo Gesto Águilas de Baja California, OPT Tijuana, Asociación de Padres de Familia por una Educación de Calidad, Partido Popular Socialista (PPS); Tecate: Movimiento de Resissstencia Tecate ; Ensenada: Colectivo Estudiantil Cimarrones, Enrique Rebelin Estudiante de la Facultad de Ciencias Marinas, UABC-Ensenada Colectivo Marcha de las Putas; Rosarito: El Pueblo Manda Rosarito; Jalisco: OPT Jalisco; Sonora OPT Sonora; Puebla: Liga Estudiantil Democrática (LED), Casa de Estudiantes Emiliano Zapata (CEEZ), Colectivo Universitario por una Educación Popular (CUEP), Frente Estudiantil Educación para Todos (FEET) y Desfibrilador Gráfico (DG); Ciudad de México: Comité De Defensa Naturalizados Y Afromexicanos; ;Michoacán: Movimiento de Izquierda Revolucionaria (MIR); Michoacán Frente Michoacano contra el Terrorismo de Estado, Frente Michoacano en Defensa de la Salud y la Seguridad Social. California, E.U: El Consejo Laboral por el Progreso Latino Americano-AFL-CIO Sacramento, California

    * * * * * * * * *


    Please endorse this statement and get your organization to endorse. Send your endorsement (name, organization, city, and state -- and send it to <theorganizer@earthlink.net>. We will forward to campaign organizers in Baja California and to the proper authorities in Mexicali. Many thanks. - Editors, The Organizer)






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    The Mexicali 12 Have Been Freed! - ¡Libres los 12 Compañeros de Mexicali!

    [versión en español a continuación]


    The 12 Jailed Mexicali Activists Have Been Freed!:
    Report on the February 13 Repression in Mexicali

    Dear comrades in struggle:

    From Baja California, Mexico, please receive our most grateful thanks for your prompt response of solidarity and support to the 12 comrades who were jailed on February 13 in the city of Mexicali, the state capital.
    Thanks to the widespread outcry against the detention of these 12 activists at the national and international level, the comrades were released from jail. Only with the solidarity and the struggle of the peoples and workers in each country and internationally can we secure justice for all our working class sisters and brothers.

    The offices of the Municipal government in Mexicali were occupied beginning Sunday, February 12 by hundreds of activists, who were protesting the abuses and mismanagement of the mayor, Gustavo Sánchez. Sánchez prioritized organizing the repression against these 12 comrades, with an excess of violence. The activists were detained without having been read their rights or without any legal reasons to justify the repression.

    These comrades are representatives of the resistance movement against the increase in gasoline prices, the structural reforms, and the privatization of water, imposed by the governments of Mexican President Enrique Peña in Mexico, and Baja California Governor Francisco Vega de Lamadrid.

    We call upon you to follow developments in Mexico - and particular in Baja California - closely is still on a mobilization footing against any protest actions and have sent Navy personnel to intimidate the demonstrators.

    Withdraw all charges against the 12 comrades of Mexicali!
    No more repression!
    Down with the "gasolinazo" (gas price increase) and the structural reforms!
    No to the privatization of water!

    Sincerely

    Luis Carlos Haro
    People's and Workers' Organization (OPT)
    In Baja California, Mexico

    * * * * * * * * * *


    ¡LIBRES LOS 12 COMPAÑEROS DE MEXICALI!
    Información sobre la represión en Mexicali del día 13 de febrero

    Estimados compañeros de lucha:

    Desde Baja California, México, reciban nuestros más atentos agradecimientos ante su pronta respuesta de solidaridad y apoyo a los 12 compañeros apresados el día 13 de febrero en la ciudad de Mexicali, capital del estado.

    Gracias a su apoyo y denuncias a nivel nacional e internacional los compañeros han sido liberados. Solo con la solidaridad y la lucha de los pueblos y trabajadores en cada país y a nivel internacional podremos ver que se haga justicia para nuestros hermanos de clase.

    Las instalaciones del gobierno municipal en Mexicali se encontraban tomados desde el domingo 12 de febrero por cientos de compañeros contra los abusos y mala administración del presidente municipal, Gustavo Sánchez. Sánchez priorizó la represión y los 12 compañeros, con lujo de violencia sin lectura de sus derechos ni razones legales, fueron aprehendidos.

    Los compañeros son representantes del movimiento de resistencia contra el aumento en el precio de los combustibles (el gasolinazo), las reformas estructurales y la privatización del agua, que imponen los gobiernos de Enrique Peña en México, y Francisco Vega de Lamadrid, gobernador de Baja California. Es importante estar atentos a los siguientes acontecimientos, pues el gobierno aún está al acecho y ha enviado elementos de la marina mexicana a intimidar a los manifestantes.

    ¡Retiro de todos los cargos a los 12 compañeros de Mexicali!
    ¡No más represión!
    ¡Abajo el gasolinazo y las reformas estructurales!
    ¡No a la privatización del agua!

    Atentamente

    Luis Carlos Haro
    Organización del Pueblo y los Trabajadores (OPT)
    en Baja California, México

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