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Showing blog posts tagged with human rights

What the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Has to Do with the Protest Outside the Ralph Lauren Shareholders Meeting

Nazma Akter and Zahida Begum ask Ralph Lauren to protect Bangladesh Garment Workers. Photo via Twitter.

Protesters gathered today in front of the St. Regis Hotel in New York City to call on Ralph Lauren to sign onto the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh to improve workplace safety for garment workers. The protest preceded Ralph Lauren’s annual shareholder meeting where the AFL-CIO Reserve Fund (its investments) had a proposal on the ballot related to human rights reporting.

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Students Protest at REI in Rockville, Md., Demanding It Stop Stocking North Face Products

Photo courtesy of USAS

On Saturday, 20 activists were arrested during a protest outside Recreational Equipment Inc. (REI) in Rockville, Maryland. Students and community leaders came together to demand REI stop stocking The North Face, whose parent company VF Corp. has been linked to serious ongoing labor violations in Bangladesh, including a deadly factory fire in 2010 that claimed at least 20 lives. Despite repeated incidents and issues, VF Corp. has refused to sign the Bangladesh Accord on Fire Safety (the Accord).

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Border Crisis Spurs AFL-CIO, Honduran Labor Movement to Call for Renewed Attention to Labor Rights Violations in Honduras

Border Crisis Spurs AFL-CIO, Honduran Labor Movement to Call for Renewed Attention to Labor Rights Violations in Honduras

As thousands of unaccompanied minors have arrived at the United States’ southern border in recent weeks, right-wing politicians and activists have used the refugee situation to push their anti-immigrant agendas, roll back protections for potential trafficking victims and stoke xenophobia among the general public by focusing on gang violence and disease.

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On the Eve of the World Cup, Workers Defend the Right to Strike and Bargain Collectively

Wikimedia Creative Commons/Brazil

As Brazil prepares to take the global stage as host of the World Cup, media attention has focused on the last-minute preparations and the expenditures accompanying the event. Amid the focus on sports, São Paulo’s subway workers delivered an important message about the need for increasing wages as a cornerstone of the country’s commitment to social equality.

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Global Solidarity for Nissan Workers Organizing on the Job Shines this May Day

Nissan worker Morris Mock and UAW President Bob King present former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva a photo of Calvin Moore and Chip Wells.

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Enforcement Plan Fails to End Murders, Violence Against Trade Unionists in Guatemala

This week, the U.S. government made the deeply troubling decision to grant the government of Guatemala four additional months to come into compliance with “Mutually Agreed Enforcement Action Plan between the Government of the United States and the Government of Guatemala,” signed between the two countries in April 2013. The plan was enacted in response to a 2008 complaint filed by the AFL-CIO and six Guatemalan unions under the labor provisions of the Dominican Republic–Central American Free Trade Agreement (DR-CAFTA), which requires that countries  “effectively enforce”their own labor laws. For years, Guatemala has done nothing of the kind, a fact and confirmed by a 2009 investigation conducted by the U.S. Department of Labor.

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Fight for Fair Wages Continues in Haiti

Photo by Cesar de la Cruz

Even before a 7.0 magnitude earthquake decimated much of the country in 2010, many Haitians struggled to earn anything close to a living wage. As the country continues to rebuild, one strategy embraced by the United States and Haitian governments has been the development of export-oriented industries, particularly apparel. The apparel sector has grown by more than 45% since the earthquake. In 2013, the industry represented 9% of Haiti’s GDP and 89% of its export earnings. Unfortunately, these gains are not reaching workers.

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Unscrupulous Employers Take Advantage of Immigrant Workers in H-2B Visa Program

Samuel Rosales Rio came to the United States from Mexico under an H-2B visa to work at a food stand in a traveling carnival. When he arrived, he and his co-workers, most of whom also entered the country under the H-2B program, wound up working 16 to 17 hours a day in the sweltering heat for as little as $1 an hour. Workers were only provided a single meal each day and the meager wages made it impossible to supplement. Under the H-2B program, employers are supposed to provide adequate housing, but workers reported sleeping in overcrowded trailers infested with fleas and bedbugs without a place to wash. Rosales wound up in the hospital as a result of dehydration and infections from bug bites.

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'I Thought I Wouldn't Survive': Rana Plaza Survivors Tell Their Stories

'I Thought I Wouldn't Survive': Rana Plaza Survivors Tell Their Stories

“I thought I wouldn’t survive,” Aklima Khanam said, as she described how she felt when she was trapped under machinery in the collapsed Rana Plaza building in Bangladesh, one of the most deadly workplace accidents in history. Khanam and Aleya Akter, both garment workers, came to the AFL-CIO on Monday to discuss the ongoing struggle to obtain justice and prevent more needless deaths in the garment industry.

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