When Federal Contracts Turn Into Corporate Welfare

By: Sunday October 6, 2013 12:15 pm

Where does the corporate bottom line end and the public interest begin? Through the voodoo economics of federal contracting, Washington’s “partnerships” with private corporations have drained the public trust straight into the pockets of top corporate executives.

 

Ban Ki-Moon Accused of Union-Busting at UN

By: Tuesday September 17, 2013 7:25 pm

United Nations workers spend their time on the front lines of the global struggle for human rights, but now they are battling for rights in their own workplace. The UN has come under fire for union-busting, and the labor standoff could undermine its ability to uphold the rights of others around the globe.

Your ‘Distressed’ Jeans Are Wearing Out Workers’ Lungs

By: Wednesday July 24, 2013 3:35 pm

“Distressed” jeans are designed to make that wear-and-tear look seem oh-so-effortless, but it can be the result of someone’s body taking a real beating.

According to a recent investigation by the advocacy groups Clean Clothes Campaign, War on Want, and Hong Kong-based Students and Scholars Against Corporate Misbehaviour (SACOM), several manufacturers in Guangdong, China—which supply global brands such as Levi Strauss, Lee and Wrangler—have used patently unsafe sandblasting techniques on their denim.

Boss-napped: What We Can Learn From China’s Labor Banditry

By: Saturday July 6, 2013 4:00 pm

Many workers struggle to hold onto their job, but when you’re feeling especially insecure about your employment situation, you might want to try to hold onto your boss instead. Last month, a worker-led siege at a factory near Beijing gave the world a dramatic glimpse into the workplace dynamics of Chinese capitalism.

Why the Dubai Strike Matters

By: Tuesday June 4, 2013 3:30 pm

From a distance, Dubai shines like an oasis of modernity in in the desert, with its glass towers and opulent hotels. Beneath the glittering surface, however, lies an underbelly of indentured servitude. The city-state’s brutal labor system was abruptly exposed last month when workers finally threw down their tools to demand fair pay and working conditions.

Thousands of employees at the United Arab Emirates-based construction firm Arabtec went on strike on May 19, calling for wage increases in an unprecedented act of rebellion under a notoriously authoritarian government. According to Reuters, the UAE Labor Ministry announced that it was working closely with Arabtec to suppress the protests. Some 200 protesters were taken into custody in response to the four-day strike, and many were reportedly threatened with deportation or arbitrarily terminated.

Farmworkers Dig Into the New ‘Blue Card’ Plan

By: Monday April 29, 2013 2:00 pm

Last week, immigrants’ rights groups finally got the papers they’ve been waiting for, an 844-page whopper of a bill that attempts to “fix” the immigration system by promising a little bit to everyone: businesses get workers, workers get jobs and millions of undocumented people get an opportunity to gain citizenship.

Farmworkers Dig Into the New ‘Blue Card’ Plan

By: Sunday April 28, 2013 4:00 pm

Last week, immigrants’ rights groups finally got the papers they’ve been waiting for, an 844-page whopper of a bill that attempts to “fix” the immigration system by promising a little bit to everyone: businesses get workers, workers get jobs and millions of undocumented people get an opportunity to gain citizenship.

Domestic Workers Sow a New Global Movement

By: Wednesday April 17, 2013 11:00 am

In Argentina and Brazil, a sector of workers that has long labored invisibly is moving out of the shadows and gaining legal protections. Their counterparts in Jamaica and Uruguay are sparking a new political consciousness from the friction between tradition and globalization. Around the world, private homes are becoming labor’s latest battleground as domestic workers stake out their rights.

Despite stretching into every region of the world, domestic work has historically been excluded from conventional labor laws, regardedly merely as “women’s work.” A breakthrough came in 2011 with the passage of the groundbreaking Convention 189 on domestic workers’ rights by the International Labour Organization (ILO), the UN special agency for labor rights. The convention lays out principles for fair treatment at work, including the right to a fair labor contract and a safe work environment, freedom from exploitation and coercion, and legal recourse against abusive employers.

How the Poultry Industry Is Grinding Up Workers’ Health and Rights

By: Thursday March 21, 2013 7:03 pm

According to newly published research on Alabama poultry workers by the civil rights group Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), the business model of the sector has sacrificed health and safety on the factory floor for the Tayloristic efficiency demanded by American appetites.

Bulls-Hit Ranch Labor Scandal Ensnared Florida Homeless

By: Thursday November 8, 2012 6:00 pm

They called it “The Bullpen.” Farm workers were roped in from the street by recruiters and herded into the enclosed camp, where they worked during the day and slept in dirty, overcrowded bunks rife with bugs. Some, according to the workers’ legal complaint, wrestled with grinding drug addictions and were sated periodically by dealers who would come by to sink them deeper into debt and dependency.

Though reminiscent of any chain gang from the old South, this labor camp was in modern-day Florida, and these human chattel were harvesting vegetables that might have nourished your family.

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