Maquiladora Health & Safety Support Network Newsletter
September 17, 2001
Volume V, Number 3
Editor & Coordinator: Garrett Brown ("email@example.com")
Webmaster: Heather Block ("firstname.lastname@example.org")
P.O. Box 124, Berkeley, CA 94701-0124
WHO WE ARE
The "Maquiladora Health & Safety Support Network" is a volunteer network of 400 occupational health and safety professionals who have placed their names on a resource list to provide information, technical assistance and on-site instruction regarding workplace hazards in the over 3,200 "maquiladora" (foreign-owned assembly) plants along the U.S.-Mexico border. Network members, including industrial hygienists, toxicologists, epidemiologists, occupational physicians and nurses, and health educators among others, are donating their time and expertise to create safer and healthier working conditions for the 1.2 million maquiladora workers employed by primarily U.S.-owned transnational corporations along Mexico's northern border from Matamoros to Tijuana. The Support Network is not designed to generate, nor is it intended to create, business opportunities for private consultants or other for-profit enterprises. On the contrary, Network participants will be donating their time and knowledge pro bono to border area workers and professional associations.
The Maquiladora Health & Safety Support Network was launched in October 1993 at the annual meeting of the American Public Health Association (APHA). It includes occupational health specialists from Canada, Mexico and the United States who are active in the APHA, American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA), American Conference of Government Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH), American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE), National Safety Council (NSC) and the 25 local grassroots Committee for Occupational Safety and Health (COSH) groups in the U.S. and Canada. The Support Network is continuously seeking more health and safety professionals and activists to join the network, as well as looking for more border community organizations who can make use of the information and technical assistance offered. Please join us!
LETTER FROM THE COORDINATOR - Garrett Brown
Like everyone else, I was stunned and shocked by the attacks on New York and Washington on Tuesday, September 11th which have shattered the lives of thousands of families. Since then I have also been consumed with two overwhelming concerns:
There must a rational, reasoned response on the part of the United States government, or it will only create scores or hundreds more people willing to commit suicide by flying hijacked airplanes into office buildings; and
That unless the root causes of these terrible events are recognized and addressed, there will be no end to the death and destruction, only more fear, more losses and more anguish.
First, like everyone else, I believe the individuals responsible for these attacks should be accurately identified and punished to the full extent of the law. However, bloodthirsty voices inside and outside the U.S. government are demanding immediate retaliation against somebody almost anybody now, right now. Military action that results in the deaths of more innocent people, an inevitable feature of previous acts of vengeance, will only generate new waves of people willing and eager to retaliate themselves. With each cycle of violence, the possibilities for any long-lasting peace wither and die.
Second, unless the root causes and real life context of these attacks are recognized and effectively addressed, there will be only more of them in the future.
How did terrorists like Osama bin Laden become so powerful? In fact, it was the U.S. government itself that turned an Arab construction moguls playboy son into the killing machine he is today. Bin Laden was recruited, trained, and launched in the CIA-organized guerrilla camps in Pakistan for the holy war against the Russians in Afghanistan. Like Manuel Noriega and Saddam Hussein before him, bin Laden was protected as a valuable U.S. "asset" until this Frankenstein turned on its creator and began slaughtering innocents outside of U.S.-approved targets.
Why the World Trade Center? In addition to being a symbol of New York and the United States, the buildings represented a global economy that is becoming ever more unequal and polarized. Wealth, created by millions, is concentrated into fewer and fewer hands, including the $300 million personal fortune of bin Laden which finances these attacks. The richest 200 individuals in the world control more wealth than the bottom 40% of the worlds population. The number of countries categorized as being "in poverty" has doubled from 25 to 49 since 1971. There are at least 73 million children at work every day in the global economy, and more than 140 million workers are migrants living outside their home regions or countries (including millions in the United States) in conditions of super-exploitation. It is U.S.-based corporations and U.S.-controlled financial institutions that have created, defended and are expanding this system of increasing misery for the overwhelming majority and luxurious privilege for the few.
Why the Pentagon? September 11th was also the 28th anniversary of the U.S.-organized military coup detat in Chile which overthrew the elected government of Salvador Allende and ushered in 25 years of military dictatorship in which at least 3,200 people were killed and tens of thousands were arrested and tortured. The U.S.-instigated coup in Chile was only one of many in the last 50 years that have resulted in the deaths of thousands: 1953 in Iran (which put the Shah in power), 1954 in Guatemala (which led to 100,000 deaths over the next 40 years and related to another 60,000 dead in El Salvador), 1964 in Brazil, 1965 in Indonesia, 1973 in Chile, 1976 in Argentina, and the 1980s Contra war under Reagan and Bush senior in Nicaragua (resulting in at least 30,000 dead). Not to mention U.S. military actions like the war in Vietnam which left 2 million dead throughout Indochina.
And, of course, the U.S. governments virtually unconditional support of Israel whose policies of continuous dispossession of the land of the Palestinians and of control of every aspect of their lives is used as the justification for the slaughter of innocents in the planes and on the ground last week.
The fundamental principles of the occupational health and safety profession have always been to "anticipate, recognize, evaluate and control" hazards. This has also been the goal of our all-volunteer Network of over 400 professionals in Canada, Mexico and the United States since 1993. Network members have donated their time, expertise and energy to assist the young, mostly women, previously rural workers in the maquila plants along the U.S.-Mexico border and in the giant export factories in Indonesia and China. Our modest contribution has been to try to protect the health of vulnerable workers in the face of powerful transnational corporations, corrupt and disinterested governments, and the pitiless dictates of the global economy, all of which view workplace safety as just another cost to be minimized in the pursuit of the highest possible, short-term financial gain.
These safety principles apply not only to workplace hazards, but also to the larger world in which we live. If anything good is to come out of the horrific deaths and destruction in New York and Washington, it is that we can and must recognize and address the root causes of these events. Peace will only come when the U.S. government genuinely works to reduce, not accelerate, global inequalities and mass misery, and when its power is used not to protect the rich and powerful, but to aid the worlds poor majority in their efforts to create a world fit for their children, free from death and terror.
COMPREHENSIVE MAQUILA WORKER WAGE STUDY RELEASED
Maquiladora workers in Mexico, primarily working for U.S.-based "Fortune 500" companies, are not paid enough to meet their families basic living needs, according to a comprehensive study conducted in 15 Mexican cities released in June.
"The wages paid maquiladora workers for a full workweek do not enable them to meet basic human needs of their family for nutrition, housing, clothing and non-consumables," reported Dr. Ruth Rosenbaum, Executive Director of the Center for Reflection, Education and Action (CREA) organization in Hartford, CT, which conducted the research. "In the 15 cities surveyed, it would take between four and five minimum wage salaries to meet the basic needs of a family of four. This study documents the huge gap between what maquiladora workers are paid and what they need."
Workers wages in Mexico are usually calculated as multiples of the government-set minimum wage, with most maquiladora workers earning salaries of only one to two minimum wages. The minimum wage also varies between geographic region, so that workers on the U.S.-Mexico border are covered by one of three separate minimum wage levels, "A," "B" and "C," ranging from 37.90 pesos ($4.74) to 32.70 pesos ($4.09) a day.
"In community after community, maquiladora workers can afford only to live in make-shift houses without water, electricity, and to even talk about nutritious diets for themselves and their children is a luxury," noted Martha Ojeda, a former maquila worker who is now Executive Director of the Coalition for Justice in the Maquiladoras (CJM) which commissioned the study.
"They work long, productive hours for the worlds biggest corporations and still cannot provide the most basic needs for their families. They cannot even afford to consume the items they produce," Ojeda stated. "The foreign-based corporations that benefit from free trade have a moral obligation to pay the workers a sustainable living wage. Even though workers realize that they take a big risk in organizing independent unions, still they challenge the system because it is the only way to improve their working conditions and standard of living.
CREA defines a "sustainable living wage" as one that meets the basic needs of a family of two adults and two children, enables them to participate in "culturally required activities" and allows them to set aside small savings to pay for the future. The study used actual prices in the 15 communities where maquiladora workers live and converts the prices into the minutes of work time required to obtain basic items.
For example, in Matamoros, across from Brownsville, TX, a family of four needs an income of 193.86 pesos (about $22) a day to reach the sustainable living wage. However, based on pay slips collected from maquiladora workers, a majority take home less than 56 pesos a day, only 28% of what a family of four needs. One minimum wage salary, the pay of many maquila workers, provides only 19% of the sustainable living wage.
Article 123 of the Mexican Constitution mandates that workers receive a living wage sufficient to meet the normal material, cultural and social needs of a family and to provide for the education of the children.
"Companies tell us that they are paying above the minimum wage, but our data shows that they are nowhere near paying a sustainable living wage," declared Rev. David Schilling, Director of the Global Corporate Accountability Program of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Center Responsibility (ICCR) in New York City.
"Making The Invisible Visible: A Study of Maquila Workers in Mexico 2001" was commissioned by CJM and ICCR. The Executive Summary of the report is available on CREAs website (www.crea-inc.org) as is information on ordering the full report.
CJM ANNUAL MEETING SETS TASKS FOR HEALTH AND SAFETY WORK
Building the capacity of maquila workers and their organizations to understand and use their workplace rights, including to a safe and healthy workplaces, was one of the three key campaigns set by the annual General Meeting of the Coalition for Justice in the Maquiladoras in Monterrey, Mexico, August 22-26, 2001. The other two campaigns center on workers right to organize independent, member-controlled unions and to establish a "living wage" as required by the Mexican constitution.
Since 1993, health and safety trainings on the U.S.-Mexico border, many conducted by members of our Network, have created a growing number of maquila workers and community activists with the information and confidence to conduct their own workshops. One proposal made at the CJM meeting was to establish an on-going series of advanced trainings for these border activists to further their understanding of occupational health issues and to increase their ability to put on effective, participatory trainings with their peers and co-workers.
Combining workshops of workplace safety with ones on workers legal rights under Mexican law, organizational issues for community-based groups, and sessions on current political developments was suggested for an ongoing "organizers school" to be held in various cities and times along the U.S.-Mexico border. The goal of this ad-hoc school is to generate increasing competent and effective organizers at the grassroots. Such a series of "training of trainers" is also designed to develop a new generation of health and safety activists, and to ensure that the information has an increasing wider distribution on a community level.
Tasks assigned to interested professionals in our Network included developing written 1-2 hour training modules on various topics that could be put on by grassroots "health promoters" in a shorter time slot than the full one to two day sessions that have been organized in the past. Developing simple written booklets or brochures on key workplace health issues to be distributed on the border was also suggested.
Discussions are currently underway to establish an integrated plan of trainings and materials to be developed. Network members interested in volunteering on this effort should contact Network Coordinator Garrett Brown at email@example.com.
Another key area of work for the next year will be follow-up on the health and safety complaints filed under the NAFTA labor side agreement, for workplaces in Canada and the U.S. as well as Mexico. At least three cases Han Young, ITAPSA, and CustomTrim/AutoTrim have passed through the stage of "ministerial consultations" between the Labor Departments of the U.S. and Mexico. But no significant changes have occurred in the functioning of health and safety inspectors in the maquiladoras, or in the U.S. workplaces where complaints have been filed, as a result of the NAFTA complaint process.
Our Network will be working with CJM and other complaint submitters in Mexico and Canada to explore the possibilities for invoking the next stages of the labor side agreement to generate actual improvements in government enforcement of health and safety regulations in the maquilas and throughout North America.
The Coalition for Justice in the Maquiladoras is a 12-year-old, tri-national coalition of more than 100 labor, religious, womens, environmental and human rights organizations in Canada, Mexico and the United States. Information on CJM is available from firstname.lastname@example.org.
CHINA TRAINING CONDUCTED IN 12,000-WORKER SPORTS SHOE FACTORY
From July 30th to August 3rd a training on occupational health and safety was conducted with 92 participants in a 12,000-worker plant producing sports shoes in Dongguan City, China. The participants included members of the organizations which signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in March 2001 and which is available on the Networks website at www.igc.org/mhssn.
The project MOU includes a confidentiality clause which will remain in effect until early 2002 when a final report on the project is issued.
The six-member training team included Network Coordinator Garrett Brown, health educators Betty Szudy and Pam Tau Lee from UC Berkeleys Labor Occupational Health Program (LOHP), MIT professor Dr. Dara ORourke, and two industrial hygienists Christine Chiu and Pak Ip from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. Guest speakers include the Director of the regional occupational disease hospital in Guangzhou, China. The four-day training included both classroom instruction and field trips into the production facility where the event was held.
The project is now in "phase II" during which the team of instructors in Hong Kong and the U.S. will provide information and technical assistance to training participants. Dr. ORourke and Network Coordinator Brown are scheduled to make follow-up visits with participants in January 2002, and work with the projects governing Coordinating Committee to produce a final report on the effort in early 2002. Once the projects consensus report has been issued, participating organizations and individuals will be free to offer their own perspectives on the projects activities and results.
AIHA SWEATSHOPS DOCUMENTS TRANSLATED, SENT TO LATIN AMERICA
The strong anti-"sweatshops" White Paper and Position Statement approved in March 2001 by the Board of Directors of the American Industrial Hygiene Association are being translated into Portuguese and Spanish and sent to industrial hygiene associations throughout the world. The documents have been posted on the Government Affairs page of AIHAs website at www.aiha.org.
Network member Marcos Domingos da Silva has translated the documents into Portuguese and they will be considered by the upcoming conference of the Brazilian Occupational Hygiene Association. Network member Jose Ventocilla from Panama is in the process of translating the documents into Spanish and they will be forwarded for consideration by industrial hygiene associations in Mexico, Panama, Venezuela, and Columbia later this fall.
In November the International Occupational Hygiene Association (IOHA), which includes 23 member organizations from 21 countries around the globe, will consider the AIHA documents as well. The AIHA Board recommended that the occupational hygiene profession internationally take the lead in developing universal criteria for evaluating the workplace health and safety performance of any enterprise around the world, as well as establishing the minimum levels of training and experience for workplace health and safety auditors conducting plant inspections as "independent monitors" evaluating compliance with "corporate codes of conduct" established by many transnational companies in the last years.
The goal of these activities is to develop as much of a common position on sweatshop-related issues as possible between professional organizations in both the developed and the developing world.
Other follow-up activities to the AIHAs national Task Force on Global Sweatshops include:
Articles in professional journals of occupational and public health journals on sweatshops and what professionals can and are doing about them;
Development of additional position statements, based on the approved White Paper, addressing occupational and environment health issues related to international trade and investment treaties, such as the proposed "Free Trade Area of the Americas;"
Exploring possible partnerships on a local level between professional organizations and community-based groups of sweatshop workers (such as garment workers in Los Angeles and New York) to improve conditions in U.S. sweatshops;
Exploring possible partnerships on an international level between professional organizations in the U.S. and community-based groups of sweatshop workers in different parts of the world to improve sweatshop working conditions and nurture the development of the occupational health profession in those countries.
Network members interested in working on any of these initiative should contact Network Coordinator Brown at email@example.com.
MAJOR REPORTS ON GLOBAL SWEATSHOPS
Over the last six months a barrage of reports about actual working conditions, including occupational health and safety, have been released for workplaces in Mexico, Central America, and Asia. These "sweatshop" reports have common themes despite differences in geographic location and industrial sector: long hours of work, unpaid or underpaid overtime work, intense pressure to meet production goals, frequent sexual harassment of women workers, lack of member-controlled unions, and inadequate recognition, evaluation and control of workplace health and safety hazards.
Among the reports, accessible on the web, that may be of interest to Network members are:
"Report on Efforts to Improve Apparel Factory Conditions in Central America" is a report from the Independent Working Group on the history and development of independent factory monitoring initiatives in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. The report covers activities in plants producing for the Gap Inc. in Central America. The report, issued in September 2001, is available on the website of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR) at www.iccr.org
"Codes Memo: Number 8" is the latest in a series of reports by Canadas Maquila Solidarity Network (MSN) on the numerous codes of conduct and monitoring systems currently functioning in the global conduct. Issue number 8 focuses on the "Social Accountability 8000" code and monitoring system, and previous issues have examined the Fair Labor Association and the Workers Rights Consortium, among others. Code Memo: Number 8, issued in August 2001, is available on the MSNs website at www.maquilasolidarity.org.
"Liz Clairborne Internationals Standards of Engagement and the Unionization of Two Supplier Factories in Guatemala" is a special report by the COVERCO monitoring organization in Guatemala. The report, issued in August 2001, is available on the MSNs website at www.maquilasolidarity.org.
"Report on Code Compliance at Three El Salvador Factories" is a report by the El Salvador Independent Monitoring Group (GMIES) on reported violations of Salvadoran labor law and Liz Clairbornes corporate code of conduct at three plants. The report, issued in August 2001, is available on the MSN website at www.maquilasolidarity.org
"Emancipation or Exploitation? A study of women workers in Mexicos maquiladora industry is a report by researcher Sara Kalm of Swedens Lund University. The report, issued in July 2001, is available from Kalm at firstname.lastname@example.org
"La Lucha Sigue; Stories from the people of the Kukdong factory" is a report from the Mexican Centro de Apoyo al Trabajador and the US Collegiate Apparel research Initiative containing interviews with workers in the Kukdong factory producing garments for Nike, Reebok and several US universities in Puebla state, Mexico. The report, issued in July 2001, is available from www.usasnet.org
"Second Report on the Kukdong Factory" is a report by the Workers Rights Consortium (WRC) on conditions at the Kukdong factory. The report, issued in June 2001, is available on the WRCs website at www.workersrights.org.
"Breaking Boundaries, Building Alliances; A Latin America/Asia Womens exchange for women organizers and advocates" is a report on a February 2001 meeting in Managua, Nicaragua of key organizers of working womens organizations in Asia and Central America. The report, issued in June 2001, is available on the MSN website at www.maquilasolidarity.org
"Down on the Farm: NAFTAs Seven-Years War on the Farmers and Ranchers in the U.S., Canada and Mexico; Dwindling incomes for small farmers in the U.S, Mexico and Canada, lost farms and rural crisis is NAFTAs legacy," is a report by Public Citizen on NAFTAs impact on agriculture in Mexico and the "push" from rural areas to the U.S.-Mexico border of soon-to-be maquila workers. The report, issued in June 2001, is available at www.citizen.org
"Worker Rights in the Americas: A Rare Inside Glimpse," is a previously-suppressed report of the El Salvador Labor Ministry on conditions in apparel factories producing for major U.S. apparel companies and universities. The report, released by the National Labor Committee in May 2001, is available on the NLCs website at www.nlc.org. On May 10, 2001, the New York Times ran article by Steven Greenhouse entitled "Labor Abuses in El Salvador Are Detailed In Document."
"Still Waiting For Nike To Do It; Nikes labor practices in the three years since CEO Phil Knights Speech to the National Press Club" is a detailed report by Global Exchange on the aftermath of Nikes May 1998 promises to improve working conditions in its contractor factories around the world. The report, issued in May 2001, is available on GXs website at www.globalexchange.org.
In addition to these major reports, there has been a debate about the effectiveness and reliability of corporate codes of conduct and monitoring systems ostensibly designed to reduce or eliminate sweatshop conditions. Among recently released contributions to this debate area:
"Code Memos" published by Canadas Maquila Solidarity Network detailing the specifics of various codes and monitoring systems. Eight of these memos have been issued to date and are available on the MSN website at www.maquilasolidarity.org
"NAFTAs Labor Side Agreement and International Labor Solidarity," by Lance Compa at Cornell University. The 12-page report is available from Compa at email@example.com;
"The NGO-Industrial Complex," by Gary Gereffi, Ronie Garcia-Johnson and Erika Sasser, in the July/August 2001 issue of Foreign Policy Magazine of Global Politics, Economics and Ideas. The six-page article is available at www.foreignpolicy.com/issue_julyaug_2001/gereffi.html
"Wary Allies" by Lance Compa at Cornell University on the relationship between multinational corporations, non-governmental organizations and trade unions. The four-page article in The American Prospect magazine (July 16, 2001) is available at www.prospect.org/print/V12/12/compa-l.html
"Overview of Recent Developments on Monitoring and Verification in the Garment and Sportswear Industry in Europe," by Nina Ascoly, Joris Oldenziel and Ineke Zeldenrust from the Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations (SOMO). The 42-page report was released on May 2001 and is available at www.somo.nl/monitoring/reports.htm.
On August 7, 2001, a new international anti-sweatshop coalition called "Global Justice for Garment Workers" was launched in New York City. Initiated by the UNITE garment and textile workers union in the United States, the coalition includes labor, religious, human rights, womens and other non-governmental organizations from the United States, Canada, Mexico, Thailand, Nicaragua, Hong Kong, Guatemala, Honduras and the Dominican Republic. Information about the founding and proposed activities is available at www.behindthelabel.org.
The Clean Clothes Campaign in Europe conducted an "international evaluation and strategy conference" in March 2001 in Barcelona, Spain. The CCCs July newsletter (www.cleanclothes.org) carries a full report on numerous international pilot projects and the overall strategy discussions at the conference. The newsletter makes for thoughtful reading for all of us engaged in the international effort to improve conditions in the worlds workplaces.
The April-June 2001 issue of "Asian Labour Update" includes articles on the status of occupational safety and health in eight Asian countries including China, the Philippines and India. The quarterly magazine is published by the Asian Monitor Resource Center (AMRC) in Hong Kong and is available at www.amrc.org.hk.
Hazards magazine, published in Sheffield, England, has just made its "how to do it" guide on health and safety research for plant-level safety representatives available on line. The guide includes information on risk mapping, trade union health and safety resources, a photo gallery of participatory training methods in action. The guide is available at www.hazards.org/diyresearch/
The July/September issue of Hazards magazine (#75) features a spread on occupational and environmental safety and health on the US-Mexico border, including a display of photographs by acclaimed photojournalist David Bacon. The feature also plugs our Network as one of the means to engage in "cross border action."
The Hesperian Foundation is looking for a "Project Associate" to work with Project Coordinator Maggie Robbins on the "Export Processing Zone Workers Health and Safety Manual" which was initiated by our Network. Additional information on the job and the current status of the book is available from firstname.lastname@example.org.
MEXICAN LAW WEBSITES AND MAQUILADORA DIRECTORIES
Numerous commercial enterprises are now offering on-line access (for a price, naturally) to Mexican workplace and environmental regulations in both Spanish and English, the full text of NAFTA, Material Safety Data Sheets in Spanish, and much more.
Among the offerings are:
Mexican laws at www.mexicanlaws.com
Spanish-language MSDs at www.msds-mexico.com
Mexico Manufacturing Directory 2001 at www.mexdirectory.com
QUOTES OF THE MONTH
The U.S. medias coverage of the "G-8 Summit" meeting in Genoa, Italy in July, and the world-wide protests that surrounded it, including 100,000 protesters in Genoa itself, generally focused on the violence in Genoa and the "inexplicable," "fuzzy," "contradictory" goals of those protesting the secretive gathering protected by thousands of armed soldiers and police. However, a few rays of understanding did filter through. Here are several of them:
-- "After growing protests, world leaders sat down today for the first time to discuss health, debt and the poor exactly the topics that demonstrators have complained are ignored by rich countries. But progress was incremental and unlikely to defuse the criticism that the wealthy nations worry about trade first, their own wealth second and everything else third." David E. Sanger, New York Times, July 21, 2001.
-- "Our 49 countries are generally facing marginalization, (our) share is declining in the global market, and the economies in the countries are becoming impoverished by each passing day, said S. Rahama, chief delegate from Bangladesh. The United Nations classifies a country as least developed when the per capita income is less than $900 a year. Despite decades of global growth and development aid, the number of poor countries has nearly doubled since 1971, from 25 to 49. Most of them are in Africa and Southeast Asia." Associated Press, July 22, 2001.
-- "While it is impossible to sum up the goals of the groups on the streets here (Genoa), Mr. Kjosen and Ms. Hesjedal reflect a prevalent theme: narrowing the gap between rich and poor, which they see as steadily widening. To many here, the levers of power around the world are controlled by political leaders who meet in cloistered summits, by free trade organizations that care little about poor or developing countries and by corporations whose principle goal is to fatten the bottom line." John T. Tagliabue, New York Times, July 22, 2001.
-- "The new wave of political activism has coalesced around the simple idea that capitalism has gone too far. It is as much a mood and as movement, something counter-cultural. It is driven by the suspicion that companies, forced by the stock markets to strive for even greater profits, are pillaging the environment, destroying lives and failing to enrich the poor as they promised. And it is fuelled by the fear that democracy has become powerless to stop them, as politicians are thought to be in the pockets of companies and international political institutions are slaves to a corporate agenda." James Harding, The Financial Times (London), September 11, 2001.
-- "If it is not national but supranational powers that rule todays globalization, however, we must recognize that this new order has no democratic institutional mechanisms for representation, as nation-states do: no elections, no public forum for debate. The rulers are effectively blind and deaf to the ruled. The protestors take to the streets because this is the form of expression available to them. The lack of other venues and social mechanisms is not their creation.
"The protests themselves have become global movements and one their clearest objectives is for the democratization of globalizing processes. It should not be called an antiglobalization movement. It is pro-globalization, or rather an alternative globalization movement --- one that seeks to eliminate inequalities between rich and poor, and between the powerful and the powerless, and to expand the possibilities for self-determination.
"If we understand one thing from the multitude of voices in Genoa this weekend, it should be that a different and better future is possible." Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri, an op-ed in the New York Times, July 20, 2001.
-- "When Prohibition Meets Free Trade: Wealth Power and Intimidation in Mexico" by Julia Reynolds, NACLA Report on the Americas, July/August 2001;
-- "Distorting the Record: NAFTAs promoters play fast and loose with facts," by Robert E. Scott, Issue Brief #158, July 13, 2001, Economic Policy Institute, available at www.epinet.org;
-- "Hemisphere Inc.," report on the impact of the proposed Free Trade Area of the Americas, Resource Center of the Americas, Minneapolis, MN, available at www.americas.org
-- "The Selling of Free Trade: NAFTA, Washington and the Subversion of Democracy," by John MacArthur, Hill & Wang, 2000;
-- "Sweatshop Police" (wage and hour inspectors), by Robert J. S, Ross, The Nation, September 3/10, 2001;
-- "Immigrant Workers Protest Slave-like Conditions on U.S. Farms," Report on Guatemala, Summer 2001,;
-- "Workers Rights Suffering as China Goes Capitalist," by Erik Eckholm, New York Times, August 22, 2001;
-- "A Continent in Crisis: Africa and Globalization," by Sunday Dare, dollars and sense, July/August 2001;
-- "Koreas Neoliberal Restructuring: Miracle or Disaster, dollars and sense, July/August 2001;
-- "Plan to Entrench Inequality: Guatemala and the Free Trade Area of the Americas," by Catherine Ravecsky, Ian Macdonald, Alexandra Durbin and Julia Graff, Report on Guatemala, Summer 2001,;
-- "Stopping Forced Labour," the 2001 report from the International Labor Organization, available at www.ilo.org;
-- "Chinas Workers Under Assault: The Exploitation of Labor in a Globalizing Economy," Anita Chan, M.E. Sharpe, 2001;
-- "Sweatshop Warriors: Immigrant Women Workers Take on the Global Factory" by Miriam Ching Yoon Louis, South End Press, 2001;
-- "Made in Indonesia," by Dan La Botz, South End Press, 2001;
-- "Working Classes, Global Realities," edited by Leon Panitch and Colin Leys, Monthly Review Press, 2001;
-- :The Future in the Balance, Essays on Globalization and Resistance," by Walden Bello, Food First Books, 2001
-- "The Civil Corporation," by Simon Zadek, Earthscan Publications (UK), 2001;
-- "Stakes not Shares: Curbing the power of corporations," by Roger Cowe, New Economy Foundation (UK), 2001;
-- "Global Inequality Winners and Losers," by Robert Wade, The Economist, April 28, 2001;
END OF NEWSLETTER - VOL. V, NO. 3 - September 17, 2001