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September 2015 E-News


Support Ali Enterprises workers this week

This Friday will mark the third anniversary of the deadliest fire in the history of the global garment industry. On September 11, 2012, the Ali Enterprises factory in Pakistan exploded in flames, claiming the lives of at least 250 people, and seriously injuring 55 others. The injured workers and the families of the deceased are still waiting for full and fair compensation. Shahida, who lost her husband in the fire, has started a petition to Germany company KiK, whose clothes the workers were sewing at the time of the fire. Please sign and share Shahida’s petition.  

Labor activist indicted

ILRF and allies delivered a letter to the Thai embassy in Washington D.C. last week, signed by 44 human rights organizations, to ask for justice in the case against labor rights activist Andy Hall. Andy was indicted on Aug. 24 on computer crimes and criminal defamation charges, brought by a Thai pineapple export company called Natural Fruit, after the Finnish NGO Finnwatch published research about egregious labor abuses Andy had documented in one of its factories. Read more…


Reynolds: Talk to your workers!

The Farm Labor Organizing Committee (FLOC) organized a rally on Aug. 25 to deliver a message from 20,000 petition signers from more than 90 countries: tobacco farmworkers deserve a voice! FLOC is asking Reynolds to sign a memorandum of understanding giving tobacco farmworkers across North Carolina recognition and collective bargaining rights. ILRF, AFL-CIO and the International Union of Foodworkers (IUF) all collected signatures. Read more about ILRF's work in the tobacco sector… 


Not Lovin' It

When workers at Taylor Farms called McDonald's, a large customer of the produce processing facility outside San Francisco, to report violations of the corporation's supplier code of conduct, they thought corporate "social responsibility" would help them in a struggle against an abusive employer. Instead, a cursory audit resulted in the whistleblower losing his job and at least 60 other layoffs when McDonald's canceled its contract a few months later. ILRF rallied with the Teamsters outside a McDonald's in San Francisco recently to demand the corporation re-engage at Taylor Farms to get those jobs back and work to actually improve conditions. Read more about how McDonald's failed CSR policies betrayed workers at Taylor Farms… 

Monitoring forced labor during the cotton harvest

In Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan, the world’s fifth and seventh-largest cotton exporters, the annual harvests are underway. Every year, the governments of Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan systematically coerce their own citizens to cultivate and pick cotton, with the profits benefiting the government elite rather than the people. ILRF and its partners in the Cotton Campaign are closely monitoring: the two governments, whether they stop using forced labor and permit human rights monitoring; the World Bank and its commitment to suspend loans if there is forced labor in its project areas; Daewoo, General Motors and other multinational corporations’ entanglement in the forced-labor system; and H&M, Inditex and other apparel companies’ management of links to the Turkmen cotton industry. Read more on our blog…

Launch of ILRF’s Fall Fundraising Campaign

For nearly three decades, ILRF has been a leader in the campaign to end child labor. As kids start a new school year with bright eyes and wide smiles, we are excited to announce the launch of our Fall Fundraising Campaign! Here at ILRF, our greatest victories come from working with our grassroots partners and building lasting transnational solidarity with supporters like you. Stay tuned to hear from Campaigns Director Abby McGill and Executive Director Judy Gearhart on how YOU can make an impact on children’s rights worldwide! 


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