Another Haiti is Possible

PERFORMING PROGRESS IN HAITI, ALORAL

July 1, 2013

Cross-posted from Haitian Times

Things appear to be getting better in Haiti, but a closer look reveals the cracks in the otherwise smooth veneer of progress

OPINION | GUEST OP-ED

By Mark Schuller

After I return from a trip to Haiti, I am often asked, “How are things in Haiti now?” Last week I returned to Haiti, and on this trip, it’s particularly difficult to respond.

We Have a Dream: Farmworkers Organize for Justice

June 24, 2013

By Tory Field and Beverly Bell

Part 13 of the Harvesting Justice series


Picking tomatoes in Immokalee, Florida, home of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW). Photo: Courtesy of CIW.

For decades, farmworkers – the more than one million men and women who work in fields and orchards around the country – have been leading a struggle for justice in our food system. They have been building awareness and mobilizing the public, successfully securing some rights, higher wages, and better working conditions. Today, a recent string of victories by the farmworker group Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW), together with the steadfast work of other groups, have taken the movement to a whole new level.

“MRS. CLINTON CAN HAVE HER FACTORIES”: A HAITIAN SWEATSHOP WORKER SPEAKS

April 30, 2013

By Beverly Bell

Marjorie Valcelat ran an embroidery machine in a factory from 2005 to 2008. She says the experience made her so sick and weak that she’s not felt able to work since then.

I had three children I had to take care of; their father had left. And since I hadn’t had enough schooling, I didn’t have the skills to do much. So I said to myself, “I’m going to work at a factory.” When I got there, they showed me how to run the machines to embroider slips and nightshirts. I spent a month training, but during that time they didn’t pay me; I had to pay them for the training.

 

Retail and Fast Food Workers Strike in Chicago's Magnificent Mile

April 25, 2013

Cross-posted from The Nation.

By Micah Uetricht

April 24, 2013

Chicago workers go on strike
The woman on the right is a McDonald’s worker who walked off the job this morning. Photo by Micah Uetricht.

Chicago’s downtown Loop area is the heart of commerce in the city. But beginning at 5:30 am today, fast food and retail workers there have gone on strike, following New York City fast food workers who walked off the job in November and again earlier this month demanding higher wages and better working conditions.

DELEGATION TO GUATEMALA

April 25, 2013

July 6-14, 2013

 MINING INJUSTICE & IMPUNITY

~versus~

COMMUNITY WELL-BEING, HUMAN RIGHTS & THE ENVIRONMENT

 On this trip, we will investigate environmental destruction, health harms (to animal and human life), and other human rights violations (including forced evictions, killings, gang-rapes, etc) caused by “mega-development” projects - particularly mining operations - in the context of Guatemala’s historic and on-going impunity, corruption and lack of justice, exploitation and poverty, and lack of democracy.

A HARD DAY’S LABOR FOR $4.76: THE OFFSHORE ASSEMBLY INDUSTRY IN HAITI

April 25, 2013

By Beverly Bell and Alexis Erkert
April 25, 2013

“Haiti offers a marvelous opportunity for American investment. The run-of-the-mill Haitian is handy, easily directed, and gives a hard day’s labor for 20 cents, while in Panama the same day’s work costs $3,” wrote Financial America in 1926.[i] That may be the most honest portrayal of the offshore industry in Haiti to date. Today, the US, the UN, multilateral lending institutions, corporate investors, and others are more creative in their characterizations. They spin Haiti’s high-profit labor as being in the interest of the laborer, and as a major vehicle for what they call “development.”

 

Bangladesh Building Collapse Kills at Least 70

April 24, 2013

Cross-posted from New York Times

By Jim Yardley


A building housing garment factories collapsed on Wednesday

NEW DELHI — An eight-story building in Bangladesh that housed several garment factories collapsed on Wednesday morning, killing at least 70 people, injuring hundreds of others, and leaving an unknown number of people trapped in the rubble, according to Bangladeshi officials and media outlets.

Domestic Workers Sow a New Global Movement

April 18, 2013

Cross-posted from In These Times

BY MICHELLE CHEN


Members of the International Domestic Workers' Network show support for the groundbreaking International Labor Organization's Convention 189, signed in 2011.  (Courtesy of WIEGO)

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.

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