Schlagwort-Archive: ILRF

End Child Labor, Stop Corporate Theft — Judy Gearhart, International Labor Rights Forum

Dear Friends,

Today is World Day Against Child Labor – reminding us of the urgent need to stop child labor, especially the extremely hazardous forms of child labor.  Please donate today to support ILRF’s campaigns against this insidious abuse, which is all too integral to global supply chains and one of the most egregious forms of corporate theft.

https://laborrights.z2systems.com/np/clients/laborrights/donation.jsp?

Hazardous child labor – whether on cocoa farms in West Africa or tobacco and vegetable farms in the U.S. – threatens children’s health, robs them of their childhoods, their educations, and as a result, robs them of opportunities for better livelihoods as adults.  Viciously, this crime primarily affects children whose families live below the poverty line – families who face tremendous risks during the current pandemic because they lack access to healthcare. And for migrant farming families in the U.S., fear of the police and the threat of deportation is ever-present.

This October 1st, ILRF will celebrate four determined children’s rights advocates during the annual Labor Rights Defenders Awards ceremony. Please join us to sponsor the 2020 Awards! 

https://laborrights.z2systems.com/np/clients/laborrights/donation.jsp?

We will honor educators who are committed to ensuring children’s rights – to an education and freedom from exploitation.  And we will honor a courageous union of farmworkers from Ghana who are challenging the powerful cocoa industry to stop child labor and demanding better incomes for cocoa farmers.

  • Dr. Lorretta Johnson, Secretary-Treasurer of the American Federation of Teachers, started her career as a para-educator and came up through the union to become a powerful advocate for children’s rights and a leader in the global fight to end child labor; 
  • Sharan Burrow, General Secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), also comes out of the teachers’ unions in Australia and now leads a global federation that continues its key role in the fight to end child labor;
  • The General Agricultural Workers Union of Ghana (GAWU) is organizing and advocating for cocoa farmers’ rights and livelihoods and for its advocacy to stop child labor in the cocoa sector; and
  • The Chicago Teachers’ Union is one of the leading campaigns bridging teachers’ rights and children’s rights within the U.S.-wide Red for Ed campaign.

I have a personal, deep appreciation for these awardees.  My mother was a teacher’s aide and then a reading specialist. I know how deeply she cared for ‘her kids’ as she’d call them. Her commitment to education has long fueled my own engagement in the fight to end child labor and ensure education for all.  Also, having grown up in Hershey, PA, I have a particular commitment to GAWU’s mission and ending child labor in the cocoa industry!

As I prepare to wrap up my nearly ten years at ILRF, I hope you will consider making an extra donation to support our global campaigns to hold corporations accountable and to stop them from robbing children of their right to health, education, and future opportunities. Your donation will help ensure a stronger future for ILRF and the team that will carry on its important mission.

Thank you for your support.

In solidarity,

Judy

Honduran union leader threatened with imprisonment — ilrf


Moises Sanchez

 

A union leader whom we work with in Honduras could be imprisoned for 30 years on bogus charges, pending a decision at a trial next Wednesday. Moises Sanchez is the Secretary General of the STAS union on Fyffes‘ melon farms in Honduras, where he worked from 1993 until 2016, when he was blacklisted for his union activity. In 2017, Moises was kidnapped, viciously attacked and threatened with death if he did not abandon the union fight.

Now he is facing spurious charges from a landowner – who also leases to Fyffes – after being part of a group of 450 community members who voted to build a road in their community, which the mayor supported and said was on public land.

Tweet at the Honduran Government to demand the charges against Moises be dropped! Do not imprison human rights defenders!

Moises is a resident of La Permuta, a small community that had no road access and people had to cross rivers to get to the closest city, Choluteca. In 2018, La Permuta’s village assembly voted to build a road. The mayor of the municipality, Santa Ana de Yusguare, agreed with the effort and told them the land was public land. Nearly two years later, a private landowner has come forward saying the land was hers and pressed charges for ‘criminal usurpation.’ Over a number of years, this landowner has leased other properties she owns to the Fyffes company.

Five members of La Permuta’s elected leadership, and Moises, are facing criminal charges. Moises is not a member of the elected leadership; rather, he is only one of the 450 community members who voted on the road. Yet, Moises faces the possibility of 30 years in prison on four charges related to the usurpation of private land to build a community access road. The municipality is providing legal defense only for the elected community leaders who implemented the decision to build the road, not Moises.

Please urge the Honduran government not to criminalize trade unionists. There is no guarantee of life or safety for those incarcerated in Honduras. Due to his years of activism and the resulting and ongoing threats, human rights defenders are fearing for Moises’ life should he be imprisoned.

In solidarity,

Gabby Rosazza
Campaigns Associate

P.S. If you’re not on Twitter, here’s a link to spread the information about Moises’ case on Facebook. Other ways to take action include contacting the Honduran Supreme Court (+504 2240 6000, presidencia@poderjudicial.gob.hn, comunicaciones@poderjudicial.gob.hn) or the Embassy of Honduras in the United States (embassy@hondurasemb.org) to urge they demand the charges be dropped.

 


Please consider joining ILRF as a monthly donor to help sustain our ability to stand with labor rights defenders around the world.


Take action now, on Human Rights Day, to urge these brands to put an end to the wage theft in their supply chain.

On March 7, 2018, the 824 workers at the LD garment factory in El Salvador lost their jobs when the factory suddenly closed without warning. The workers sewed clothes for Levi’s, Ralph Lauren, Walmart, and PVH (owner of the Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger brands) and yet these companies failed to ensure they received the full compensation owed to them.

Take action now, on Human Rights Day, to urge these brands to put an end to the wage theft in their supply chain.

https://actionnetwork.org/letters/call-on-levis-pvh-ralph-lauren-walmart-to-stop-wage-theft-in-el-salvador

Hear directly from Martha about how she has struggled as a single mother while waiting for the money she is owed:

 

Under Salvadoran law, when a factory closes workers are due severance based on their length of employment. Laid-off workers depend on these payments to support themselves and their families, including putting food on their tables and paying school fees for their children, until they are able to find new work. But in the case of LD El Salvador, the brands refused to pay timely severance, instead pointing to their intermediary, Global Brands Group.

For over a year, the workers were left with nothing. Finally, Global Brands Group distributed a paltry $600,000 – far short of the total of $2.3 million legally owed. Levi’s, PVH, Ralph Lauren, and Walmart are now all refusing to pay anything more.

In this video, Maritza talks about how the buyers from the factory have an obligation to ensure that workers receive the full payments they are owed:

 

Click here to send a letter urging these brands to stop delaying and immediately meet their outstanding severance obligations to the LD workers.

https://actionnetwork.org/letters/call-on-levis-pvh-ralph-lauren-walmart-to-stop-wage-theft-in-el-salvador

Thanks in advance for taking action on Human Rights Day!

In solidarity,

Liana Foxvog
Director of Campaigns


https://laborrights.z2systems.com/np/clients/laborrights/donation.jsp?campaign=261&=

Please consider joining ILRF as a monthly donor to help sustain our ability to stand with labor rights defenders around the world.


Justice for Jorge! — ILRF

Demand Justice for Jorge!

 

Jorge's funeral

Jorge’s funeral in La Lima, Cortes, Honduras

 

The brutal wave of killings, threats, kidnappings, beatings, torture, and disappearances of labor and social movement activists in Honduras continues, directed at Afro-Indigenous women, LGBTQI activists, campesinos, trade unionists, independent journalists, and opposition political activists.

Last Saturday, two men shot and killed Jorge Alberto Acosta in a billiard parlor four blocks from his house in La Lima, Cortes, Honduras. Jorge, 62, was a leader for SITRATERCO, the oldest union in the country, which represents Chiquita banana workers.

Click here to demand the Honduran government fully investigate and prosecute Jorge’s murder and call on the U.S. Embassy in Honduras to publicly denounce this killing.

https://actionnetwork.org/letters/justice-for-jorge-alberto-acosta

In early 2018, banana workers held a 77-day strike after Chiquita illegally relocated its medical center — which had provided full healthcare to working families for over 60 years — to a far-off location and replaced it with an expensive, low-grade private medical center. Workers on the picket line were met with live bullets from military police and mass layoffs from Chiquita.

After the strike ended, Jorge and his fellow trade unionists began receiving death threats, and were subject to physical attacks, surveillance, and break-ins. They repeatedly denounced these threats to government officials, who are obliged to investigate and provide adequate protective measures for threatened union leaders — but never did.

The authors of Jorge’s assassination know very well that the government of Honduras was never going to investigate the reported threats or protect the labor leaders, and are counting on the government’s inaction now. That is why it is imperative for the international community to publicly denounce this killing and the recent wave of violence against human rights defenders in Honduras.

Take action to demand the Government of Honduras investigate and prosecute the authors of this crime and provide protection to Jorge’s family and SITRATERCO union leaders, and to call on the U.S. Embassy in Honduras to publicly denounce these killings.

https://actionnetwork.org/letters/justice-for-jorge-alberto-acosta

Thank you in advance for your solidarity,

Gabby Rosazza
Campaigns Associate

ILRF Fall News

International Labor Rights Forum

October 2019 E-News

Migrants Trafficked, Beaten, and Forced to Work for Free on Plantations Linked to Procter & Gamble
Forced Child Labor in Cocoa; Twenty Years of Failure
Forced Labor Exposed in Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan’s Cotton Harvests
Seafood Workers’ Rights Campaign Builds Connections at Labor Notes Conference
Marching in Thailand on World Day for Decent Work
Clean Clothes Campaign Examines Deadly History of Social Compliance Initiatives
Evaluating the Current Context of Labor Rights Advocacy in China
55 U.S. Representatives Call on Honduras to Halt Labor Violations

Migrants Trafficked, Beaten, and Forced to Work for Free on Plantations Linked to Procter & Gamble

ILRF filed a Tariff Act petition together with Rainforest Action Network and SumOfUs, urging U.S. Customs and Border Protection to seize shipments of palm oil harvested under forced labor conditions by Malaysian grower FGV. FGV is a business partner of Procter & Gamble – the maker of Pantene shampoo, Olay lotion, and Gillette shaving cream. The complaint decries the system of violent debt bondage and human trafficking, where traffickers lure migrant workers from countries like Indonesia and the Philippines to FGV plantations in the Malaysian state of Sabah with promises of good jobs. Once trafficked to Sabah, the workers were informed that their wages will be withheld until they pay off the cost of their transportation, leaving them to subsist on credit from the company which only adds to their debts. The people who objected were met with violence. Both the Washington Post and Reuters covered our complaint and Tenanganita, our partner in Malaysia, gave press interviews. To sign SumOfUs’ petition, click here.

Forced Child Labor in Cocoa; Twenty Years of Failure

ILRF applauded a letter from Senators Sherrod Brown and Ron Wyden calling for U.S. Customs and Border Protection to investigate forced child labor in West African cocoa production. ILRF also urges industry leaders to make a binding commitment to ensure adequate financing for solutions that are developed through a transparent process, negotiated in collaboration with farmers, farm worker organizations, and child rights advocates. For further information, see the Washington Post’s coverage and Judy Gearhart’s op-ed, “Forced Child Labor in Cocoa; Twenty Years of Failure,” published by Morning Consult. For Halloween chocolate minis, we recommend Divine Chocolate and Equal Exchange.

Forced Labor Documented in Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan’s Cotton Harvests

The annual cotton harvest is in full swing in Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. Independent monitors from the Cotton Campaign’s partners Turkmen.news and the Uzbek-German Forum for Human Rights are documenting and reporting on state-sponsored forced labor of public employees.

The Campaign celebrated the release of Gaspar Matalaev, who served three years in jail in retaliation for a report on the country’s cotton harvest. Meanwhile, there is growing support for the Turkmen Cotton Pledge, which has been signed by 70 major brands who refuse to source cotton from Turkmenistan until forced labor is eliminated. Eighty-four investors with more than $859 billion in assets under management have also taken a stand by signing an investor statement urging companies to take steps to stop forced labor in the cotton harvest by signing the Pledge.

In Uzbekistan, reforms are under way, although reports from the field indicate ongoing challenges to the implementation of those reforms remain. The Cotton Campaign issued a Roadmap for Reforms in Uzbekistan, which Uzbek policy makers are referencing as they seek to combat forced labor.

Seafood Workers’ Rights Campaign Builds Connections at Labor Notes Conference

The Labor Notes Asia Regional Conference co-organized by ILRF in Taipei in August brought together over 200 trade unionists and human rights defenders from across 17 countries. This presented a fantastic opportunity for ILRF’s Seafood Workers’ Rights Campaign, which is currently expanding from Thailand to other countries in Asia, to bring together labor leaders and rank-and-file organizers who are making important strides in organizing workers in the global seafood industry in their countries. We planned a panel and strategy workshop on “Organizing Migrant Workers in the Seafood Industry” with speakers from the Migrant Workers Rights Network in Thailand, the Yilan Migrant Fishermen’s Union in Taiwan, the Indonesian Migrant Workers’ Union, and the Migrant Workers’ Movement Supporters’ Group in South Korea. Panelists and participants discussed trends in labor rights abuse of migrant seafood and fishing workers across the four countries. They also identified successful strategies used to win legal battles on the right to organize for migrant workers as well as strategies for collective bargaining.

Marching in Thailand on World Day for Decent Work

On October 7, World Day for Decent Work, ILRF’s Senior Seafood Campaign Coordinator Kimberly Rogovin joined a march and rally with thousands of trade unionists, migrant workers, and labor activists in Bangkok, Thailand. Organized by the State Enterprise Workers’ Relations Confederation – the largest trade union federation in the country representing 44 trade unions with a total of 200,000 members – and the Thai Labour Solidarity Committee, the main demands to the Thai government were: (1) Ratify ILO Conventions 87 and 98 on freedom of association and collective bargaining; (2) End privatization of public services, nationalized industries, and other forms of privatization; and (3) Raise the minimum wage. These Thai labor organizations have been campaigning for international labor rights to freedom of association and collective bargaining for all workers for decades, including advocating on behalf of the estimated four million Southeast Asian migrant workers in Thailand who face restrictions on the right to organize.

Clean Clothes Campaign Examines Deadly History of Social Compliance Initiatives

A new report from our partner the Clean Clothes Campaign shows how the multi-billion dollar social auditing industry operates as a corporate social responsibility (CSR) tool to protect brand reputation and profits, while aggravating risks to garment workers. Fig Leaf for Fashion connects the dots between the most well known business-driven social compliance initiatives, such as Social Accountability International, WRAP, the FLA, and amfori BSCI, and the largest corporate-controlled auditing firms, including Bureau Veritas, TÜV Rheinland, UL, RINA, and ELEVATE, as well as the brand interests that they serve. The report offers glaring examples of corporate negligence through case examples from the past decade and shows how the social audit industry has protected the image and reputation of brands and their business models, while standing in the way of more effective models that include mandatory transparency and binding commitments to remediation.

Evaluating the Current Context of Labor Rights Advocacy in China 

The sharply altered political landscape in China over the last several years has serious implications on labor rights advocacy for the millions of migrant workers. ILRF has been looking at the impact of repression against labor activists in the aftermath of Jasic union organizing, highlighting the deepening and broadening of harassment and detention as well as the increasingly preemptive nature of the repression. More than 100 labor activists and student supporters have been arbitrarily detained over the past year. ILRF is also assessing the prospect of labor reforms in China. We find that the momentum for pro-worker legal and trade union reforms has stalled amid China’s economic slowdown and the uncertainty over the US-China trade conflict. However, new organizing opportunities are opening up in China’s burgeoning platform economy, where labor protection remains weak and workers are beginning to take action.

55 U.S. Representatives Call on Honduras to Halt Labor Violations 

Gabby Rosazza, USLEAP Program Coordinator, led the effort that got 55 Members of Congress to deliver a letter to the U.S. Department of Labor and U.S. Trade Representative about the failure of the CAFTA – Central America Free Trade Agreement – complaint in Honduras. The Members expressed their deep concern about how the Honduran government has failed to put a stop to rampant labor violations committed by transnational corporations and instead aligned with employers in their efforts to bust workers’ efforts to form unions. The letter cited two cases in the melon and palm oil sector and stated, “If the Government of Honduras is allowed to undermine STAS and its members’ rights, it will only further entrench corporate impunity and weaken rule of law, one of the many factors that contributes to the cycle of poverty and pushes people to migrate.” For further information, see the press release from Representatives Jan Schakowsky, Raul M. Grijalva, and Andy Levin.

https://laborrights.z2systems.com/np/clients/laborrights/donation.jsp?campaign=261&=

Please consider joining ILRF as a monthly donor to help sustain our ability to stand with labor rights defenders around the world.

 

ILO votes to stop gender-based violence at work!

Judy Gearhart, International Labor Rights Forum

It’s with great joy that we’re celebrating the International Labour Organization’s adoption of both a Convention and Recommendation on Violence and Harassment in the World of Work. The historic treaty passed today at the ILO’s centennial assembly in a 439-7 vote, with 30 abstentions. This is the first international standard specifically aimed at addressing these issues in the workplace – and it’s all because of the tireless organizing by unions and worker centers around the world.

Last week we wrote about three critical elements that the labor side fought to include in the Convention and Recommendation. I’m thrilled to let you know that all three are covered in the new standard:

2018 ILRF Awards Awardees M. Stein & CENTRAL by T. Mahal Photography 2018 ILRF Awards CENTRAL by T. Mahal Photography
ILRF Executive Director Judy Gearhart with CGT in San Pedro Sula, Honduras International Women’s Day demonstration in support of an ILO Convention in Phnom Penh, Cambodia Making signs ahead of an IWD demonstration in support of an ILO Convention in Dhaka, Bangladesh

Now, the struggle must continue. An international standard is only valuable when it can be leveraged to protect workers on the ground in real time. Each individual country must now ratify the Convention, and unions are already preparing for country-level campaigns to get their elected officials to vote in support of it.

While governments have a specific process for ratification, that doesn’t mean action needs to wait on the legal process. And multinational corporations should not wait for new national laws to implement strong policies against gender-based violence in their supply chains. Here at ILRF we will continue supporting our partners who are organizing in their countries for strong protections against violence and harassment, and we are grateful to have you with us in this fight.

Please consider joining ILRF as a monthly sustainer today to show your support for the long haul.

In solidarity,


Judy Gearhart
Executive Director

Bangladesh Accord 6th Anniversary

In the six years since the Bangladesh Accord was founded, its complaint mechanism has saved lives and stopped retaliation in hundreds of factories across Bangladesh. Our new report published today, Calling for Remedy, details how garment workers have used the independent mechanism to secure remediation when they notice hazards in their factories or face reprisals for raising health and safety concerns.

Read and share Calling for Remedy now.

https://laborrights.org/callingforremedy

The Accord was established recognizing that independent inspections by qualified engineers are only part of the solution and that workers and their unions are in the best position to conduct day-to-day monitoring and reporting on workplaces conditions. The Accord’s complaint mechanism enables them to report concerns about health and safety hazards safely, and if they choose, anonymously.

In addition to building safety, occupational safety and health (OSH) issues covered by the Accord include personal protective equipment, maternity leave, excessive working hours, forced overtime, sexual harassment, and workplace violence – as well as OSH-related pay, such as sick pay, maternity pay, and payments of any nature which may have been impacted as a result of reprisal actions against those who have pursued a claim under safety and health.

Because the Accord’s complaint mechanism provides responsive and meaningful action and is successful at securing remediation, workers are increasingly more likely to trust it and use it. The complaint mechanism ensures that workers are able to exercise their right to refuse dangerous work, provides transparency by publicly reporting on all complaints received, and provides apparel brands and retailers with knowledge of factory-level issues that would otherwise go undetected and unreported.

The success of the complaint mechanism run by the Accord – trusted by workers for its independence and effectiveness – is one more argument why the program should remain in Bangladesh and continue to operate independently until the government and local institutions are ready to take on the task. The government’s first attempt at establishing a complaint mechanism does not allow anonymity, and reports receiving only 25 complaints since 2014, compared to 1,329 complaints received by the Accord during the same time period.

https://laborrights.org/callingforremedy

If you haven’t yet, please sign our petition to protect the Accord, and share our report on Facebook and Twitter!

https://actionnetwork.org/letters/keep-workers-safe-in-bangladesh

The Accord’s independent inspections, trainings and complaint mechanism have brought real changes for workers – the majority women – in Bangladesh and have increased international confidence in the country’s garment industry. With a new High Court ruling on the future of this program due on May 19, together with the other three Accord NGO witness signatories, ILRF is once more stressing the need to continue the independent work of the Accord and to only transfer the work to an organization that lives up to the readiness criteria as established by the International Labour Organization.

In solidarity,

Elena Arengo
Senior Corporate Accountability Analyst

P.S. I hope to see you at ILRF’s Labor Rights Defenders Awards Ceremony & Reception next week. Tickets are still available here.

https://laborrights.z2systems.com/np/clients/laborrights/donation.jsp?campaign=267&=

Please consider joining ILRF as a monthly donor to help sustain our ability to stand with labor rights defenders around the world.

 

6 years after Rana Plaza, we need action to protect hard-won workplace safety

Take Action Now!

https://actionnetwork.org/letters/keep-workers-safe-in-bangladesh

 

In the midst of a wave of deadly fires, the government of Bangladesh is threatening to expel the only credible building safety program in the country. So, today, as we mark the sixth anniversary of the Rana Plaza building collapse, we’re calling on the government of Bangladesh to cease attempts to expel the Accord on Fire and Building Safety from Bangladesh.

https://actionnetwork.org/letters/keep-workers-safe-in-bangladesh

In commemoration of the 6th anniversary of the Rana Plaza collapse, take action now to protect workers in Bangladesh!

The Accord is an enforceable agreement signed by apparel brands and trade unions three weeks after the Rana Plaza building collapse of April 24, 2013, killed 1,134 garment workers. The Accord provides independent safety inspections, transparent remediation protocols, as well a worker complaint mechanism and training. As a result, unprecedented safety improvements have been made to factories across the country. Yet, the government and the factory owners’ associations are trying to expel the Accord from the country, threatening the safety of millions of workers.

Over the past two months, at least 95 people have died in preventable fires in buildings that were within the monitoring purview of the government of Bangladesh. This is especially disturbing as our recent research shows a shocking level of unreadiness by the government to assume responsibility for the 1,688 factories under the Accord. Rather than work against the Accord, government agencies should urgently increase safety efforts for the buildings currently under their oversight. A transition plan should be conditional on Bangladesh’s national inspection bodies being ready to take over.

Any interruption to the Accord’s important safety work would be a major setback for workers’ rights in the country. We cannot allow the risk of another Rana Plaza disaster – it’s time to protect the hard-won progress made in Bangladesh.

https://actionnetwork.org/letters/keep-workers-safe-in-bangladesh

In solidarity,

Liana Foxvog
Director of Campaigns

 


https://laborrights.z2systems.com/np/clients/laborrights/donation.jsp?campaign=261&=

Please consider joining ILRF as a monthly donor to help sustain our ability to stand with labor rights defenders around the world.

Our first 2019 Labor Rights Defender is…

2019 Labor Rights DefendersGaspar Matalaev & Alternative Turkmenistan News

Each spring, ILRF takes a moment to honor a group of Labor Rights Defenders, whose innovation and visionary leadership in the fight for safe and just working conditions has truly made a difference. This year’s honoree, Gaspar Matalaev, has taken great personal risks in his work to expose state-run forced and child labor in one of the most repressive countries in the world today: Turkmenistan.

This year, ILRF is honored to present a 2019 Labor Rights Defender Award to Gaspar Matalaev and Alternative Turkmenistan News.

Gaspar was arrested October 4, 2016, sentenced to three years in a labor camp, and remains imprisoned today. He has been tortured, held incommunicado, and denied proper legal counsel – all at the hands of one of the world’s most repressive countries. Gaspar is a prominent human rights activist in Turkmenistan, where he has been monitoring the state-orchestrated forced labor system in the country’s cotton fields. His work has helped draw attention to the Turkmen Government’s annual mobilization of tens of thousands of citizens, including children, teachers, and doctors, forced to manually pick cotton under threat of charges like insubordination, incitement to sabotage, and even ‘contempt of the homeland’. Gaspar’s arrest came two days after he published a report on the extensive use of forced and child labor in the 2016 cotton harvest. It is clear Gaspar’s arrest was politically motivated.

Alternative Turkmenistan News was founded in 2010 as an independent news and human rights organization, aiming to improve the living and working conditions of Turkmenistan’s citizens. Through a network of monitors, ATN provides independent reporting on one of the world’s most authoritarian regimes.

https://en.turkmen.news/

ATN, and activists like Gaspar, are critical in the fight to hold anti-democratic governments accountable, and we are honored to present them with a Labor Rights Defender Award. You can support Gaspar ahead of the ceremony, held this May 22 in Washington D.C., by signing our petition urging the Turkmen government to free Gaspar.

https://laborrights.z2systems.com/np/clients/laborrights/survey.jsp?surveyId=36&=

In solidarity,

 

Judy Gearhart
Executive Director

Please consider joining ILRF as a monthly donor to help sustain our ability to stand with labor rights defenders around the world.

https://laborrights.z2systems.com/np/clients/laborrights/donation.jsp

$20 million for a birthday party?!

For the past four years, the 4,000 people who worked at Jaba Garmindo in Indonesia have been fighting for the $10.8 million they are owed in severance and unpaid wages following the closure of two garment factories.

https://actionnetwork.org/letters/tell-blackstone-pay-up-the-108-million-owed-to-jaba-garmindo-workers

Support the workers left in the lurch when multinational companies cut and ran!

The workers sewed clothing for major international brands including Uniqlo, one of the world’s largest fashion retailers, and Jack Wolfskin, a German company that was controlled by the hedge fund Blackstone Group at the time the workers were left hanging. Despite pressure from Indonesian garment workers and the Clean Clothes Campaign, Uniqlo and Jack Wolfskin have refused to pay the severance owed to the workers.

https://actionnetwork.org/letters/tell-blackstone-pay-up-the-108-million-owed-to-jaba-garmindo-workers

As the largest alternative investment group in the world, Blackstone could pay the severance money with only 0.7% of its annual net income. For CEO Stephen Schwarzman, it would be a piddling amount to pay himself given that he had no concern spending $20 million on his 70th birthday party. But, for the workers who lost their jobs, receiving the funds due to them under Indonesian law will help keep them and their families out of dire poverty.

Please support the Indonesian garment workers by taking two actions today:

1. Call on Stephen Schwarzman and Blackstone to pay up!

https://actionnetwork.org/letters/tell-blackstone-pay-up-the-108-million-owed-to-jaba-garmindo-workers

2. Leave a review on Uniqlo Denmark’s Facebook page in advance of their April 5th Copenhagen store opening. Under, “Do you recommend Uniqlo.denmark?,” select “No” and then leave your own message along the lines of:

https://www.facebook.com/pg/uniqlo.denmark/reviews/

I insist that Uniqlo pay the unpaid wages and severance legally-owed to the Jaba Garmindo workers in Indonesia. These workers earned this money over many years of hard work and long hours producing clothes for Uniqlo. To deny them their payment now is tantamount to wage theft. Uniqlo should pay this debt immediately! #PayUpUniqlo

Failure to pay severance is a critical problem facing workers in the global garment industry and is especially widespread in Indonesia. Workers producing for Nike, adidas, and Mizuno have also found themselves left without the severance pay that they are guaranteed under law. Although factory owners are required to follow national law regarding severance, factories consistently fail to set aside funds to meet their obligations, and brand auditors rarely verify whether they are doing so.

Thank you for standing in solidarity with garment workers in Indonesia.

In solidarity,

Liana Foxvog
Director of Campaigns

PS. Read more about severance wage theft in Indonesia’s garment industry in Ken Silverstein’s long-form article in New Republic, „Blood Money: Indonesian wage theft and the Massacre Premium.“

https://newrepublic.com/article/153248/blood-money-indonesian-wage-theft


Please consider joining ILRF as a monthly donor to help sustain our ability to stand with labor rights defenders around the world.

https://laborrights.z2systems.com/np/clients/laborrights/donation.jsp?campaign=239&=