Maquiladora Health & Safety Support Network Newsletter
April 11, 2003
Volume VII, Number 1
Editor & Coordinator: Garrett Brown (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Webmaster: Heather Block (email@example.com)
P.O. Box 124, Berkeley, CA 94701-0124
Who We Are
Letter from the Coordinator
Mexican Maquila Workers Still Fighting for Their Rights
Women in Ciudad Juarez Still Under Attack
Network to Participate in AIHA, Border Conferences
Planning Begins for H&S Training In Central America
China Project H&S Committees Hold 3-Plant Follow-up Meeting
Final Report of Indonesia 2000 and 2002 Trainings Released
Major reports and key articles on Mexico and global sweatshops
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 3,000 "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 one 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 20-plus local grassroots Committees 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!
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LETTER FROM THE COORDINATOR Garrett Brown April 2003
This newsletter is at least a month overdue. But real life often intervenes and routine schedules are set aside in the midst of crisis. In mid-March the U.S. government launched an invasion of Iraq, which responsible people in the United States and around the world did everything in our power to prevent. This war for empire is unjustified, unprovoked and illegal under international law.
It is already, and will be, a catastrophe for the Iraqi people (50% of whom are under 15), who are dying by the hundreds while their country is destroyed. It is a disaster for the American people as well as this invasion and occupation will only generate more terror attacks against U.S. citizens at home and abroad, and the economic costs will cripple essential programs for education, health care, and housing at home. The militarization of American society already threatens the civil liberties of U.S. citizens and has initiated a regime of secret detentions, harsh interrogations and violations of internationally recognized human rights of immigrants in the U.S. and "unlawful combatants" held on U.S. military bases. We have been promised more of the same for years and years to come.
In early April, it appears the invasion phase is in its denouement and the U.S. occupation will begin. Whenever the fighting ends, welcome as that will be, it will not change the illegitimate character of this assault by the most powerful military on Earth on a nation already at the edge of starvation because of sanctions before the invasion began. We will now see whether all the pretty words about "liberation" and "democracy" have any meaning whatsoever; or whether they are just more cynical, unfulfilled promises as the people of Afghanistan have learned.
This war will have an adverse impact on occupational safety and health throughout the global economy as well. This is because of the war makers breach of the rule of law and the hyper-growth of wartime propaganda by the U.S. government and corporate media. Without respect for laws, both international and domestic, and without respect for truth and the simple facts of any matter, it will be difficult, if not impossible, to set health-protective laws and to effectively enforce these regulations.
The ever-shifting rationale of the U.S. government for this war cannot withstand scrutiny on a factual basis. There is no credible evidence that Saddam Hussein was involved in the September 11th attacks. There is no evidence that Hussein and Osama bin Laden are "allies" in fact, bin Laden has repeatedly called for the overthrow of Hussein. There is no evidence that Iraq has, or could have in the foreseeable future, nuclear weapons. The evidence of chemical or biological weapons in Iraq that was produced by the United Nations inspectors, indicated that the almost 10 years worth of UN inspections destroyed far more such weapons than the 1990-91 Gulf War did, and could have finished the job if the process had been permitted to continue.
A war for "regime change" to overthrow a government simply because the U.S. government dislikes its leaders and its policies, and because the U.S. has the power to do so is explicitly prohibited by the Charter of the United Nations.
The U.S. governments claim to be "liberating Iraq from a tyrant" is among the more cynical aspects of this war as it was the U.S. government (and U.S. corporations) which provided Hussein with the raw materials for nuclear, biological and chemical weapons, which encouraged Husseins war against Iran in the 1980s, and which said not one word of protest or condemnation when Hussein used U.S.-supplied chemical weapons against the Kurds in northern Iraq and against Iranian troops in the 1980s.
The U.S. government has and continues to finance, defend and protect governments in the Mideast, Asia and the Americas that routinely torture and execute their citizens and which allow no democratic rights. The U.S. governments problem with Saddam Hussein like Manuel Noriega and Osama bin Laden before him is that these "useful assets" created by U.S. policy become a political liability after they have served their purpose. When Noriega, bin Laden and Hussein stop being Washingtons "golden haired boys," they find themselves demonized by the same government that previously sponsored them, and they ominously move from the "ally" to the "enemy" column.
The hypocrisy of the U.S. government both White House and Congress in this war is only matched by the servility and complicity of the corporate media in the United States. The print and electronic news media have almost completely abandoned their responsibility to seek and report the facts, and, in fact, have become integral parts of government war propaganda. The first casualty of war truth has long been buried by the U.S. government and its junior partner, the mass media.
The efficiency, and dangers, posed by this process is evident in recent surveys taken by the New York Times/CBS News and ABC News which indicate that 42% of the American public believe that Saddam Hussein was directly involved in the September 11th attacks; 37% believe there were Iraqi citizens among the 19 hijackers on September 11th; and 55% believe that Hussein directly supports bin Ladens al-Qaeda network. None of these opinions is factually accurate.
This situation poses a problem for anyone who concerned about occupational health and safety in the global economy because truth and facts matter, and because laws must be uniformly and universally applied to be effective.
If the U.S. government can pick and chose which laws it will obey, which international bodies it will ignore, which governments it will bribe and coerce then why should China, Indonesia or Mexico enforce workplace H&S laws which "discourage foreign investment" in the ruthless competition between poor countries for development? Why cant they ignore the conventions of the International Labor Organization if they are politically inconvenient? Why should they put workers and communities health above "matters of state" or lucrative opportunities for personal corruption?
If the U.S. government can create "facts" by endlessly repeating falsehoods, why cant transnational corporations issue "codes of conduct" and hire "independent" auditors to award themselves a "clean bill of health" regarding working conditions in their global subcontractors factories, regardless of the reports from genuinely independent monitors and the workers themselves?
If the U.S. government never has to account for the yawning gap between words and deeds, why should the corporations actually trying to "walk the walk as well as talk the talk" about corporate responsibility for the safe and healthy working conditions in the global economy continue to spend time and money towards this end?
We will never make any progress in reversing the present global "race to the bottom" in workers health and safety not to mention many other pressing social issues on our planet if we do not insist on facts and truth, insist on government and corporate responsibility, insist on democratic participation by those affected in the making of decisions, insist on the fair and equitable application of the law.
For thousands of people Iraqi, British and American it is too late. They were killed in a war for empire based on relentless falsehoods, political coercion and the naked use of unilateral power. We owe it to their memories, and to the families they left behind, to fight for a world where this will never happen again. That fight also happens to be part of the process to ensure safe and health workplaces where every worker can return home safe and sound at the end of the day.
One place to start is to support the "International Right To Know" legislative proposal that a coalition of more than 200 environmental, labor social justice and human rights organizations around the world launched in January 2003. The "IRTK" proposal is based on U.S. laws requiring disclosure by corporations of key environmental impacts of their operations. The components of the proposed IRTK law include:
- Environmental disclosures of toxic releases, air and water pollution and natural resource extraction;
- Labor disclosures of workplace injuries and fatalities, management of hazardous materials and labor complaints against the employers; and
- Human rights disclosures of contracts with military and police forces, impacts on indigenous communities and human rights complaints against companies.
On January 25, 2003, the New York Times editorialized in favor of the concept stating: "The idea of an international right to know is a creative and, for the companies, a not particularly burdensome new approach. American companies could still behave badly if they chose to do so. The law does not prevent irresponsible mining companies in Peru from spilling mercury on local roads, or toy makers in China from employing children. But they would have to tell the public about these practices, and let the market, and public opinion, go to work.
"Companies and trade groups argue that such burdens would be onerous. In fact, the requirements would apply only very large companies, and many of these would experience little difficulty. No American company that offends American values should be allowed to do so in secret," the Times concluded.
For more information on the IRTK campaign and how to join in, go to: www.irtk.org .
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Exactly 36 years ago this month a year before his assassination in 1968 Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. gave one of his most important speeches in opposition to the war in Vietnam. This definitive moment is rarely recalled now in the ongoing effort to convert Dr. King into a harmless icon for racial harmony and non-violent patience. Dr. Kings words, however, ring as true today as they did more than three decades ago in the Riverside Church in New York City:
"A true revolution of values will soon cause us to question the fairness and justice of many of our past and present policies. On one hand, we are called to play the good Samaritan on lifes roadside; but that will be only an initial act. One day we must come to see that whole Jericho road must be transformed so that men and women will not be constantly beaten and robbed as they make their journey on lifes highway. True compassion is more than flinging a coin at a beggar; it is not haphazard and superficial. It comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring. A true revolution of values will soon look uneasily on the glaring contrast of poverty and wealth. With righteous indignation, it will look across the seas and see individual capitalists of the West investing huge sums of money in Asia, Africa and South America, only to take the profits out with no concern for the social betterment of the countries, and say: This is not just. It will look at our alliance with the landed gentry of Latin America and say: This is not just. The Western arrogance of feeling that it has everything to teach others and nothing to learn from them is not just. A true revolution of values will lay hands on the world order and say of war: This way of settling differences is not just."
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MEXICAN MAQUILA WORKERS STILL FIGHTING FOR THEIR RIGHTS
Despite a deepening economic crisis in the maquiladora sector, and the Mexican economy in general, workers in the maquilas continue to fight for their rights against all odds.
At least 200,000 maquila workers have lost their jobs on the US-Mexico border as more than 500 plants have shut down in the last 18 months, many headed for China and other "even lower wage than Mexico" locations in Asia and the Americas.
In December 2002, Hipolito Trevino, Undersecretary for Training, Productivity and Employment of the Mexican Labor Department (STPS), reported that 75% of the economically active population of Mexico does not have a wage sufficient to cover its basic needs, and 17% do not even have formal employment. The 75% earn less than five minimum wages, or 6,300 pesos or about US$630 a month, which the government considers necessary to meet basic food and shelter needs. Most maquila workers earn between one and three minimum wages. The 17% of the EAP earning less than 2.5 minimum wages (about 3,150 pesos or US$315 a month), which includes many maquila workers, are in danger of "malnutrition and hunger" despite full-time jobs, according to Trevino.
Conditions in the Mexican countryside, where many maquila workers come from, are even worse. Rural residents have lost their land, cannot find work, are paid too little when working to rise above the poverty line, and have fled by the millions to Mexicos cities, the US-Mexico border and into the US. More than 8.5 million Mexicans have migrated, legally and illegally, to the US over the last decade. The STPS acknowledged that in the last 10 years, 82,000 permanent jobs have been lost in the countryside and the number of people there living in poverty has risen from 44.6% in 1992 to 46.1% in 2002.
Despite, or perhaps because of, such dramatic conditions, workers in the maquiladoras have continued to fight for above-poverty line wages, safe working conditions, and, most of all, for a member-controlled union to increase their chances to win these goals. Three key campaigns are ongoing at present, including the workers at Matamoros Garment in Puebla, Industria Fronteriza in Tijuana, and Duro Bag in Rio Bravo.
Matamoros Garment: On January 13, 2003, 190 garment workers at the plant in Izucar de Matamoros, state of Puebla, struck for 11 hours to protest the non-payment of wages, forced overtime, the dangerous practice of locking workers inside the factory during operations, and for an independent, democratic union. The workers had formed the Empresa Matamoros Garment Independent Union (SITEMAG) with the help of the local Worker Support Center (CAT).
Workers produce items for international clothing brands PUMA and Cintas, among others. Five days after the strike the Germany-based PUMA brand pulled its orders from the plant. In late February, however, after an international campaign was launched by the German Clean Clothes Campaign, supported by other CCCs in Europe, LabourStart in Britain, and Sweatshop Watch and the Campaign for Labor Rights in the US, PUMA announced it would resume orders.
In March, PUMA halted orders again, and on March 17th the management of Matamoros Garments announced closure of the plant. On March 20th the local Mexican labor board refused legal recognition to the SITEMAG union, based on three technicalities of the law.
The workers and their supporters are continuing to press their case, seeking to win an appeal of the local labor board denial of legal recognition of SITEMAG, and to ensure that the maquila reopens with a new owner who will recognize the independent union. International supporters of freedom of association are being asked to contact the local labor board and government officials.
Full information on the case and action alerts are available at: www.sweatshopwatch.org and www.cleanclothes.org
Industria Fronteriza: Tijuanas maquila industry has been especially hard hit with layoffs from plants moving to Asia. Industria Fronteriza is one of the oldest plants in the city and had 600 women workers producing garments at its peak production over the course of 30 years of operations.
In May 2002, managers at Industria Fronteriza refused to pay workers their annual bonus, 10% of the enterprises profits, as required by Mexican law. In September 2002, the management proposed a three-month layoff, a "rest period" without pay, and made a promise that work would resume in January 2003. By November 2002, with only 50 workers still at the facility, the company was on the verge of bankruptcy and workers were informed by company-sponsored "union advisors" who had first appeared in September, that the plant was "going on strike." In December the plant shut down completely, without the remaining workers receiving the required Christmas bonus.
Under Mexican law, workers are entitled to several payments from the enterprise in the event of a closure, to be financed by sale of the equipment if necessary. These legally required payments include accrued vacation pay and a severance payment of between four to ten months pay, depending on the amount of time they had worked at the plant. Industria Fronteriza owners Sofia Modelsky and Eric Segal have refused to pay the workers.
The largely women workforce has also refused to give up and have formed the "Industria Fronteriza Workers Coalition for Justice" and are seeking support for their legal efforts and solidarity campaign to obtain their severance and other back pay.
For more information on the case and campaign, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com .
Duro Bag Company: In 2000, 400 workers at Duro Bag Company in Rio Bravo, state of Tamaulipas, had created the "Duro Workers Union," which was the first independent union to be registered in the state of Tamaulipas, to fight for higher wages, better working conditions and the right to form an independent union. Duro Bag is a private company based in Kentucky, which makes gift bags for customers including Hallmark and Neiman Marcus.
The workers discovered later that company management had arranged a "protection contract" with one of the official unions tied to the Mexican government. An election for representation was set for March 2, 2001, between the independent and official unions. On the day of the election, however, Duro management used specially hired "enforcers" to keep all three shifts in plant (the previous swing shift and night shifts were not allowed to go home) to vote under management supervision. The result was a victory for the official union and the firings of dozens of supporters of the independent union.
The workers appealed a local labor board decision approving the election of the official union. Since no union can hold the contract when an appeal is pending, the official union held a secret "meeting" in May 2001 of the independent union without any independent union members present and declared themselves to be the new officers of the independent union. This "change of leadership" was then approved by the local labor board meaning that workers supporting the independent union not only "lost" the election, not only lost their jobs, but they also "lost" their union as it was now legally controlled by the official union.
These developments were also appealed through the Mexican labor board system, which on March 12, 2003, finally ruled that Duro Bag must reinstate the fired supporters of the original independent union, or pay them the full severance set by Mexican law. The company is now attempting to force workers to accept "liquidation" rather than "severance" payments.
The difference is significant because "liquidation" payments consist of 12 days pay for each year worked at the company, while "severance" pay consists of 90 days of wages, plus 12 days of pay a year worked, plus an additional 20 days a year for the time worked at the facility.
Workers have formed a new organization called "DUROO" (Democracy, Unity and Respect for the Organization of Workers) and are seeking support for their efforts to obtain full severance pay and to establish a "workers center" in Rio Bravo to assist Duro Bag and other maquila workers.
For more information please contact the Coalition for Justice in the Maquiladoras at: firstname.lastname@example.org .
These, and many other defensive campaigns by maquila workers, continue on the border in spite of desperate conditions of unemployment, below poverty level pay, and poor working conditions. Although occupational safety and health is not the top priority for workers now struggling to simply feed their children, important opportunities to work with key community-based organizations continue to exist. Our Network is in discussions with Tijuana organizations about a series of trainings there to create a pool of maquila worker "peer trainers" locally who can conduct their own trainings and workshops in the future.
Any Network member interested in this effort should contact Coordinator Garrett Brown at: email@example.com .
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WOMEN IN CIUDAD JUAREZ STILL UNDER ATTACK
On February 17th, the bodies of three more young women (aged 16, 17 and 18) were found dumped in a remote area of Ciudad Juarez. These deaths bring the total of women raped, tortured and mutilated in an apparent pattern of serial killings to over 90, among more than 320 women reported killed in domestic violence and by unknown killers in Ciudad Juarez since 1993.
A majority of the 90-plus murders attributed to serial killers were women who worked second shift in maquiladoras, according to a December 2002 analysis by the Interhemispheric Resource Center, having to leave work in the early morning hours. Amnesty International reported that at least one-third of the women killed in Juarez since 1993 worked in maquiladoras, and 90% of the victims did not own cars and were dependent on maquila-supplied buses or simply walked to and from work.
Maquila operators in Ciudad Juarez have refused to take responsibility for screening drivers of company buses (at least one of whom was identified as the assailant in an attempted rape and murder), or to provide funding for improved city services, such as street lighting and police patrols at shift changes, especially after dark. Amnesty International noted that in 2001, at the height of maquila production in Juarez, maquila operators paid only $1.5 million in "voluntary contributions" to the city while exporting more than $10 billion worth of goods. U.S.-based transnationals operate more than 500 maquiladoras employing over 200,000 workers in Ciudad Juarez.
There is only one battered womens/rape crisis center in Ciudad Juarez, "Casa Amiga," which has an annual budget of only $4,500. In the last 3.5 years, Casa Amiga has handled more than 4,000 cases of domestic violence, and has registered 57 raped children since 1999.
The Mexican governmental authorities have failed to effectively investigate the murders or establish programs to protect women from violence in the city. In 1998 the Mexican Human Rights Commission issued a blistering report on the non-existent or bungled police investigations which have resulted in dismissals of charges against the 18 people who have been arrested since 1995. In 2002, a complaint was filed with the Interamerican Commission for Human Rights by a group of victims families called "Nuestra Hijas de Regreso A Casa."
Despite the international scandal and publicity, the Mexican Federal Attorney Generals office announced on April 1, 2003, that it would not conduct its own or take over the local investigation of the serial killings. The citys powerful Maquiladora Association has announced funding for a limited number of karate and self-defense courses for women, but has refused to address the issues of safe transportation or funding of police protection for women maquila workers.
Ominously, the pattern of serial killings against young women maquila workers has spread to other cities on the US-Mexico border, including Matamoros and Nuevo Laredo, where in January 2003 a 16-year-old worker was found raped and murdered in a manner very similar to the Juarez killings.
For more information on the killings check the websites of the Frontera Norte-Sur news service (http://frontera.nmsu.edu) and the Interhemspheric Resource Center (www.americaspolicy.org). Information on Casa Amiga is available at www.casa-amiga.org and the Nuestra Hijas organization can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org . The Coalition on Violence Against Women and Families on the Border, based in El Paso, TX, but also active in Ciudad Juarez, can be reached at 915-593-1000.
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NETWORK TO PARTICIPATE IN AIHA, BORDER CONFERENCES
Our Network will be represented by Coordinator Garrett Brown at the upcoming American Industrial Hygiene Conference & Exhibition (AIHCE) in Dallas and the Fourth Meeting on the Border Environment in Tijuana, Mexico.
Brown will be speaking about his "day job" as a compliance officer for Cal/OSHA in Oakland, CA, and about Network projects on the US-Mexico border and in China on two Round Table presentations at the AIHCE:
&M Monday, May 12th at 2 pm in Round Table #210 entitled "OSHA Enforcement and Its Impact on Health & Safety: New Challenges, New Possibilities;"
&M Wednesday, May 14th at 10 am in Round Table #232 entitled "Killing Us Softly: An International Perspective on Hazards Associated with the Changing Organization of Work."
Other key presentations sponsored by the International Affairs and Social Concerns committees are listed on the committee wage pages of the AIHA website at: www.aiha.org . The International Affairs Committee will meet in Dallas on Monday, May 12th at 4 pm, while the Social Concerns Committee meets on the same day at 6 pm.
Later that same week, Brown will be facilitating a panel on Friday, May 16th in Tijuana on "The Impact of the Maquiladoras on Worker and Community Health Active Partnerships to Protect Health and Rights in Tijuana." Speakers at the event include Reyna Montero from Factor X-Casa de la Mujer, Andrea Pedro Aguilar from Colonia Chilpancingo, Mireya Rubalcava from the Red de Trabajadoras, and Jaime Cotta of CITTAC Center for Information for Workers, all from Tijuana.
Two similar panels will be held on Saturday, May 17th, one entitled "Globalization and Local Community Organizing at NAFTAs Ground Zero: Free Trade Impacts on the San Diego/Tijuana Region and the Communitys Response," organized by the Environmental Health Coalition in San Diego. The second panel is called "Citizen Involvement: Holding Governments and Corporations Accountable to Environmental Laws and Regulations," organized by the Border Action Network.
The annual event sponsored by governmental agencies and non-governmental organizations from both sides of the border will be held at the Hotel Camino Real with the theme of "Defining a Broader Role for Citizens, Nonprofits, and Grassroots Organizations in Protecting the Border Environment: Challenges, Obstacles and Opportunities."
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PLANNING BEGINS ON H&S TRAINING IN CENTRAL AMERICA
Network Coordinator Garrett Brown will travel to Guatemala in May to begin planning for a Central American region-wide training on workplace safety and health to be held in the fall of 2003. Participants in the training will include members of independent monitoring groups, labor rights non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and trade unions from El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua.
Following the model of the Networks two trainings with similar types of organizations in Jakarta, Indonesia, a local NGO the independent monitoring group COVERCO will be the local coordinator. Preliminary plans call for a four-day training, conducted in Spanish, with one day being spent in a local garment factory where participants will practice identifying and evaluating workplace hazards.
The events sponsor is the Central American regional network of independent monitoring organizations, and funding is being provided by the International Labor Rights Fund in Washington, DC.
This training occurs in the context of the U.S. governments "full court press" to establish "CAFTA" Central American Free Trade Agreement a spinoff of the NAFTA agreement and a run-up to the proposed, hemisphere-wide "Free Trade Area of the Americas" or "FTAA."
In a March 2003 analysis by the Resource Center of the Americas in Minneapolis, Larry Weiss noted:
"The U.S. intention in CAFTA is to create new rules governing foreign investment, along with trade in manufactured goods, agricultural products and services. Services and agriculture are the key targets of the Bush Administration. In part thats because most manufactured goods out of Central America already cross U.S. borders duty-free laws such as the 807 program and the Caribbean Basin Parity law make that happen. Three quarters of Central American manufactured goods wind up on the shelves of U.S. retail outlets already, mainly clothing made in the regions large maquiladora (sweatshop) industry.
"More important to the Bush Administration is establishing a blueprint for the FTAA, one that anticipates the expected negotiating positions of Brazil, now governed by the center-leftist Workers Party, and other South American and Caribbean nations. Those nations are part of the global souths growing opposition to the "Washington Consensus," a consensus that prescribes free trade, deregulation and privatization as the best and inevitable future for the region. Known as neoliberalism in much of Latin America and economic globalization in the North, this set of policies has produced more damage than benefit for most of the hemispheres people," Weiss wrote. The complete analysis can be found at: www.americas.org .
Additional information on CAFTA can be found in an extensive document submitted as written testimony submitted to Congress by the International Labor Rights Fund (www.laborrights.org); in oral testimony submitted by Thea Lee, Assistant Director for International Economics of the AFL-CIO (www.aflcio.org); and in analysis posted by the Americas Program of the Interhemispheric Resource Center (www.americaspolicy.org), including a January 17, 2003, report by Vincent McElhinny entitled "U.S.-Central American Free Trade Agreement: Leaping Without Looking?"
In January 2003, when the year-long trade negotiations began, the AFL-CIO and Central American trade unions issued a first-of-its-kind joint declaration rejecting simple extension of the "failed model of North American Free Trade Agreement, under which the U.S. has lost hundreds of thousands of jobs and Mexico has failed to achieve lasting development or reduce poverty." The joint statement called for "enforceable protections for workers rights backed up by trade sanctions, a more humane immigration regime, debt relief for Central American nations and transparency in the negotiating process" among other reforms. The full declaration is posted at: www.aflcio.org .
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CHINA PROJECT H&S COMMITTEES HOLD 3-PLANT FOLLOW-UP MEETING
On February 28, 2003, at the Kong Tai Shoes (KTS) factory in Longgan, China, representatives of the three plant-wide health and safety committees who participated in the August 2001 training in Dongguan City met to exchange experiences and receive additional training.
Present at the day-long meeting were worker and management members of health and safety committees from the 5,000-worker KTS plant, the 11,000-worker Pegasus factory, and the 30,000-worker Yue Yuen II complex, producing sports shoes for Reebok, Nike and adidas, respectively. In addition to the 10-15 plant H&S committee members, representatives of four Hong Kong-based labor rights groups were present the Asian Monitor Resource Center (AMRC), China Labour Bulletin (CLB), Chinese Working Women Network (CWN), and Hong Kong Christian Industrial Committee (HK CIC). Representatives of each of the three international shoe brands also participated.
The morning and early afternoon were spent hearing reports from each of the plant-wide H&S committees about their activities, achievements and challenges encountered in the 18 months since the training. The participants also broke up into small groups to tour of the KTS facility where KTS H&S committee members pointed out newly identified hazards and completed corrective actions.
In the afternoon, three simultaneous training sessions were organized. One session dealt with chemical site management, presented by Nike corporate health and safety staff members; a second session concerned the new occupational health and safety laws in China, presented by adidas corporate health and safety staff members; and the third session was on worker education and effective communication, presented by representatives of the NGOs.
The participants in the all-day session hosted by KTS and Reebok, were members of plant-wide health and safety committees established or expanded following a four-day training at the Yue Yuen II facility in August 2001 designed to integrate production-floor workers into the committees as full and active members. The final report of the project is posted on the Networks website at: www.igc.org/mhssn .
Each of the plant committees reported that they had established regular routines of inspecting their facilities, investigating accidents, implementing corrective actions, and conducting training with shop floor workers. The three committees had similar problems as well: high turn-over rates of members, problems securing paid release time for committee members that would not adversely affect the members income or that of their production unit, insufficient time (paid or not) to conduct committee business, and uneven levels of cooperation from first-line supervisors and department managers to correcting identified hazards.
Participants in the one-day meeting at KTS welcomed the opportunity for additional training on technical subjects as well as on improving committee functioning, and supported the idea of additional interchanges in the future. The KTS committee, which includes members who were elected to plant trade union posts in a secret ballot election in 2001, also noted that they had benefited from seminars with several of the NGOs in 2001 and 2002.
The March 2003 issue (Vol. 14, No. 3) of The Synergist, published by the American Industrial Hygiene Association, ran a cover story on the Dongguan City training. The four-page spread included photographs of training activities and summaries of the evaluations of the 90-person event.
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FINAL REPORT OF INDONESIA 2000 AND 2002 TRAININGS RELEASED
The Final Report of the "Asia Health and Safety Training Project Training Activists in Indonesia" was released in April 2003. Written by Diane Bush of the Labor Occupational Health Program (LOHP) at the University of California at Berkeley, the report details the development, conduct and results of two trainings on workplace health and safety held in Jakarta, Indonesia, in June 2000 and February 2002. The trainings of trade unionists and members of leading non-governmental organizations (NGOs) were organized by our Network and funded by a grant from the MacArthur Foundation.
The full report is posted on the networks website (www.igc.org/mhssn) and the Executive Summary of the report is reprinted below:
"This report describes a health and safety training project undertaken in Indonesia, beginning in late 1999. The goal of the project was to build the capacity of local unions and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Indonesia to identify, evaluate and correct workplace health and safety hazards. The project was a partnership between the Maquiladora Health and Safety Support Network (MHSSN), the Labor Occupational Health Program (LOHP) at the University of California at Berkeley, and Dara ORourke, at that time a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and now at UC Berkeley. All of the local work in Indonesia was developed in partnership with Lembaga Informasi Perburuhan Semarak, the Labour Information Center (LIPS). LIPS is a labor rights organization based in Bogor, Indonesia, which conducts research and training, and collects information and documentation on a variety of labor rights issues.
"The project lasted over two years, and included a formal needs assessment process with stakeholders before and after the first training workshop, curriculum development, two four-day training workshops, and follow-up evaluation.
"The first training took place in June 2000 in Jakarta, and involved 32 Indonesian labor and community activists from fourteen leading NGOs and trade unions. The intent was that the participating organizations themselves would decide how to use the information in the training. Participants could apply to become an "independent monitor" in one of the various monitoring systems; to become more informed and skilled "monitors of the monitors;" and/or to better integrate health and safety issues into their ongoing national organizing and international solidarity campaigns.
"The training was designed to be participatory and interactive, with the goal of involving participants in an action-based learning process. Topics were presented in the classroom using a range of participatory training methods, including small group exercises, role playing, games, and visual demonstrations, that involved participants in seeing, hearing, applying and evaluating the information. The third day of the training was spent in a field exercise at the 7,800-worker Pratama sports shoe factory in Tangerang, Indonesia, which produced shoes for Nike, Inc. During the plant walk-around, participants interviewed workers and supervisors, monitored noise levels, evaluated ergonomic problems, checked electrical hazards, and used smoke tubes to evaluate ventilation systems. The five-person training team included instructors from LOHP, MHSSN, MIT, and a locally-based Australian health and safety specialist.
"A follow-up survey and evaluation meeting were conducted with participants in March 2001, to whether organizations had used the information from the training, and to find out what information should be included in the follow-up training.
"A second four-day workshop was held in February 2002. Twenty-four participants from nine labor unions and six NGOs attended the training. Of these, nine participants from six organizations had attended the June 2000 training, including four staff members from LIPS. This training was designed based on the input from the March 2001 survey and discussion group. The primary goal of the training was to build participants training and campaign planning skills. The training also included some review of basic health and safety issues, both because the initial training had taken place 18 months earlier, and because several organizations indicated that they were sending new staff to the event.
"The schedule consisted of two days of sessions on effective training techniques, a third day in which participants conducted trainings of their own with other members of their organizations who came to the training center for the morning, and a fourth day of evaluation and action planning. On the afternoon of the third day, a "seminar" on international and domestic occupational health and safety resources was held with speakers from the Jakarta office of the International Labor Organization (ILO), the Indonesian Association of Occupational Health and Safety, LIPS, the Asian Monitor Resource Center (AMRC), the Jakarta office of the American Center for International Labor Solidarity (ACILS), LOHP and the U.S.-based Workers Rights Consortium (WRC).
"Based on the follow-up evaluation, the majority of participants have reported that they were able to integrate health and safety information into their work in some way, even after a single four-day training. One significant example is an 80-page booklet on health and safety in Indonesian produced and distributed by the SBSI union. The booklet was an adaptation of sections of the health and safety training manual, and was printed twice for a total of 15,000 copies distributed to SBSI members.
"Both the training manual and the SBSI booklet collected key workplace health and safety information and concepts in one accessible location, and placed this knowledge into the hands of leading organizations and their worker members. The training also raised the profile of workplace health and safety issues in the participating organizations and laid the basis for future activities. After both trainings, key recommendations from the group focused on the need for more frequent training, more in-depth training, and more time spent on health and safety training.
"This capacity-building health and safety training and follow-up were a first in many ways. It was the first intensive health and safety training for almost all of the Indonesian participants, and, for many, the first time they were able to spend an extended period of time with activists from other, sometimes rival, labor unions and NGOs. It was the first time a group of labor activists had been given access to a production plant operating for a U.S.-based multinational for a training exercise. The seminar held in February 2002 was the first time in Indonesia that local health and safety resource people came together to present their available resources to labor and NGO worker advocates.
"This work in Indonesia has created an effective, replicable model for building the capacity of unions and NGOS in developing countries to effectively analyze and address workplace health and safety issues. The workshops confirmed that interactive, participatory training techniques are equally effective in international settings, and that NGOs and labor unions will make use of well-designed health and safety education materials, if they are made available.
"Trainings of this type are also important for building relationships and links between organizations within the country and within the global economy. The partnership between the trainers from the United States and Australia and the LIPS staff and consultants in Indonesia made for a successful set of trainings, and has laid the groundwork for future activities. The shared experiences of the Indonesian organizations of this training can be a bridge for common activity around health and safety issues when these come to the fore in the future.
"Finally, these trainings showed that it is possible for local unions and NGOs to gain the knowledge, skills and experience necessary for them to play a leading role in evaluating, publicizing and improving working conditions in factories operated by national and international companies."
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- Action Alerts: Sweatshop Watch is asking for assistance for garment workers in Los Angeles and Saipan fighting to obtain back wages and legal overtime pay from the "Forever 21" clothing brand, and to get Levi Strauss to join 26 other U.S. retailers in signing an agreement to end sweatshop conditions in subcontractors factories in the U.S. territory of Saipan. For information about Forever 21, go to: www.garmentworkercenter.org and for information on Levis and Saipan go to: www.sweatshopwatch.org/marianas .
- Action Alert: The Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) is calling on Taco Bell to pay just one penny more per pound for the tomatoes it buys from Florida growers. The one cent increase would double the rate paid to farmworkers. CIW is also calling on Taco Bell to improve working conditions "sweatshops in the fields" where its tomatoes are picked. For more information, go to: www.ciw-online.org .
- A new bi-national effort has been launched in the San Diego Tijuana area to support maquiladora workers south of the border. The San Diego Maquiladora Worker Support Network circulates news about working conditions in Baja California maquiladoras and supports efforts by the Mexican workers, overwhelmingly women, to improve these conditions and their lives. The San Diego network works closely with the Baja California Maquiladora Workers Network, the Center for Information for Workers CITTAC, and Factor X Casa de la Mujer, all based in Tijuana. For more information, contact Enrique Davalos or Avery Wear at: email@example.com
- The Transnationals Information Exchange-Asia (TIE-Asia) has just unveiled its new website at: www.tieasia.org . TIE-Asia began in 1992 and its regional office is based in Colombo, Sri Lanka. The organization works to support the development of unions, and democratic workers organizations where unions do not exist, and of broader social coalitions to defend the rights of mainly women workers in export-oriented industries and to bring about improvement in their jobs and communities. TIE-Asia works with over 33 local and national organizations reaching more than 50,000 workers in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Thailand and Indonesia. Its current campaign is in support of workers at the Gina Form Bra Company in Thailand. For more information, please visit the new website.
- The Asian Network for the Rights of Occupational Accident Victims (ANROAV) is hosting a conference in Bangkok, Thailand, on May 7-9, 2003, on the 10th anniversary of the Kader Toy factory fire that killed 188 workers and injured 500 more. The factory was operated by Hong Kong owners and produced dolls, including the "Barbie" doll. Locked factory doors meant that the mostly young women workers had no escape route when the fire broke out. Ten years have passed but injured workers are still fighting for compensation and conditions in the Thai toy industry have not improved much. For information about the conference and ANROAVs work, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or Sanjiv Pandita at the Asia Monitor Resource Center in Hong Kong at: email@example.com .
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QUOTES OF THE MONTH
"We are in desperate shape. You couldnt possibly understand, you who were born in golden cradles and have never suffered. But we dont have food to feed our children. Our markets are flooded with cheap imports. Imported milk is dumped in Ecuador for half of what it costs us to produce it, but transnationals sell it back to us at prices we cannot afford. We have no way to live, and the FTAA [Free Trade Area of the Americas] will only make it worse. When we complain, the U.S. government calls us terrorists. We dont mean this as a threat, but we are hungry and tired, and things have to change"
-- Leonidas Iza, president of the Ecuadoran indigenous peoples federation CONAIE, speaking to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Zoellick and 12 other economic ministers at the 7th Ministerial Meeting of the FTAA in Quito, Ecuador, in October 2002, quoted in the December 9, 2002, issue of In These Times magazine.
"They tell us we have to lie about our salaries and how much overtime we work. They line us up and make us recite the lies. We cannot leave until we get it right" Li Chow Mei, Chinese factory worker. "I mean, the factory can create a double bookkeeping system, sometimes even a second factory. So they will just open one factory, you know, for these auditors to come in, but they have maybe a second factory where workers are working maybe 70, 80 hours a week" Martin Ma, Social Accountability International, both on National Public Radios "Marketplace" show on December 23, 2002.
"Nothing to regret [about his conviction in a Chinese court for illegal assembly]. I still think what we have done is an act of justice. We are only asking for our back pay. This is reasonable and legal in every sense. It is our hard-earned money. Why [is the factory] holding it?
It simply doesnt make sense to us. We have to get it back. The government has done nothing despite our numerous petitions. We were left with no options but taking to the streets!
Our problems can be solved if we workers can exercise our rights to live and manage our own lives."
Wang Zhaoming, worker and labor leader in Liaoyang, China, broadcast on Radio Free Asia on December 27, 2002.
"Chinese workers are human beings just like American workers. What they need is a union, not someone who just flies in and treats them like hopeless, helpless people who are reliant on powerful people from other countries for just treatment"
Han Dongfang, Chinese labor activist expelled from China to Hong Kong where he hosts a talk show on Radio Free Asia and edits the China Labour Bulletin newsletter.
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MAJOR REPORTS ON MEXICO AND GLOBAL SWEATSHOPS
There continues to be a river of informational and analytical reports on working conditions in the worlds factories released each month. What once was a paucity of "hard information" and a surplus of "anecdotal reports" has become an almost overwhelming torrent of materials. Here is a brief list of some of the latest reports and key articles from the mass media.
- "Genders in Production; Making Workers in Mexicos Global Factories," by Leslie Salzinger, University of California Press, 2003, www.ucpress.edu
- "Tehuacan: blue jeans, blue waters and worker rights," Maquila Solidarity Network (Canada) and the Human and Labor Rights Commission of the Tehuacan Valley," Maquila Solidarity Network, February 2003, www.maquilasolidarity.org
- "Cross-Border Dialogues, U.S. Mexico Social Movement Networking," David Brooks and David Fox, editors, Center for U.S. Mexican Studies, 2003, http://usmex.ucsd.edu
- "Report on Environmental Conditions and Natural resources on Mexicos Northern Border," US EPA in cooperation with the Gila Resources Information Project and Interhemispheric Resource Center, 2003, www.americaspolicy.org
- "Mexicos Mandarins, Crafting a Power Elite for the Twenty-First Century," by Roderic Ai Camp, University of California Press, 2003, www.ucpress.edu
- "Special Issue on Labor Law Reform," Mexican Labor News and Analysis (MLNA), by Dan La Botz and Robin Alexander, April 2003, www.ueinternational.org
- "Seeking a New Globalism in Chiapas, Opponents of the Neoliberal Model are Demanding a New Social Contract," by Tom Hayden. The Nation, April 7, 2003.
- "The Juarez Murders," newsletter "Amnesty Now," Amnesty International, Spring 2003, www.amnesty.org
- "NAFTAs North American Agreement for Environmental Cooperation: A Civil Society Perspective," by Andrea Abel, IRC Policy Report, Interhemispheric Resource Center, March 2003, www.americaspolicy.org
- "Grassroots Protests Force the Mexican Government to Search for a New PPP Strategy," by Miguel Pickard, IRC Policy Report, Interhemispheric Resource Center, March 2003, www.americaspolicy.org
- "Ten Years of Border Feminicide: Computers, Shoes, Physical Appearance and Drugs Common Threads as Juarez-style Womens Killing Reach Tamaulipas State," by Greg Bloom, Fontera Norte-Sur, February 20, 2003, http://frontera.nmsu.edu
- "A Toxic Legacy on the Mexican Border, Abandoned U.S.-Owned Smelter in Tijuana blamed for birth defects, health effects," by Kevin Sullivan, Washington Post, February 16, 2003.
- "Rich, Spoiled Cream at the Top," by Mary Jordan, Washington Post, February 15, 2003.
- "Anti-China Campaign Hides Maquiladora Wage Cuts," by David Bacon, February 2, 2003, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
- "Mexicos Right to Know Movement," Talli Nauman, Citizen Action in the Americas, No. 4, Interhemispheric Resource Center, February 2003, www.americaspolicy.org
- "Land and Identity in Mexico: Peasants Stop an Airport," by James W. Russell, Monthly Review, February 2003.
- "Mexicos Factories Shift Gears to Survive, Competing with cheaper products from Asia, the sector is investing in technology and seeking new customers," by Evelyn Iritani and Richard Boudreaux, Los Angeles Times, January 5, 2003.
- "Nafta to Open Foodgates, Engulfing Rural Mexico," by Ginger Thompson, New York Times, December 19, 2002.
- "Challenging Neoliberal Myths: A Critical Look at the Mexican Experience," by Martin Hart-Landsberg, Monthly Review, December 2002.
- "Casa Amiga: Leading the Fight to Protect Women in Ciudad Juarez," by Jonathan Treat, Citizen Action in the Americas, Interhemispheric Resource Center, December 3, 2002, www.americaspolicy.org
- "How the Other Half Still Lives: In the shadow of wealth, New Yorks poor increase," by Jack Newfield, The Nation, March 17, 2003.
- Special Series on Occupational Health and Safety in the New York Times and PBS Frontline: "At a Texas Foundry, an Indifference to Life," on January 8, 2003; "Familys Profits, Wrung from Blood and Sweat," on January 9, 2003; "Deaths on the Job, Slaps on the Wrist," on January 10, 2003; "Death in the Workplace," editorial on January 11, 2003. Reported in the New York Times by David Barstow, Lowell Bergman, James Sandler and Robin Stein.
- "GAO Performance and Accountability Series: Department of Labor (including OSHA)," United States General Accounting Office, January 2003, www.gao.gov/pas/2003
- "Dying for the Job: The State of Workplace Health and Safety in the United States; An interview with Lisa Cullen," Multinational Monitor, September 2002, www.multinationalmonitor.org
- Special three-part series on China in the "World Focus" newsletter of the International Practice Specialty of the American Society of Safety Engineers, starting in fall of 2002 and on-going, www.asse.org
- "Chinas Workers Risk Limbs in Export Drive," by Joseph Kahn, New York Times, April 7, 2003.
- Chinas miners face major threats to lives, Owners understate tolls of fires, fumes," by Harald Maass and Dermot Tatlow, San Francisco Chronicle, April 3, 2003.
- Factories Wrest Land From Chinas Farmers," by Elisabeth Rosenthal, New York Times, March 23, 2003.
- "A Tale of Two Chinas, A photo essay," by James Whitlow Delano, Mother Jones, March/April 2003.
- "Working Conditions: Results of the Monitoring of Chinese Garment Suppliers" to three Swiss companies, report from the Clean Clothes Campaign of Switzerland, March 19, 2003, www.cleanclothes.org
- "Workers Plight Brings New Militancy in China," Elisabeth Rosenthal, New York Times, March 10, 2003.
- "Delegates Take On One-Party Rule in Chinas Heartland, Communists Spurned in Local Elections," by John Pomfret, Washington Post, March 4, 2003.
- "Getting Paid in China: Matter of Life and Death," by Philip P. Pan, Washington Post, February 13, 2003.
- "Chinas Coal Miners Risk Danger for a Better Wage," by Joseph Kahn, New York Times, January 28, 2003.
- "Unfair Trade for Unfair Toys," report on factory conditions by the Hong Kong Christian Industrial Committee, January 10, 2003, www.cic.org.hk
- "Urban Poverty in China: Measurement, Patterns and Policies," by Athar Hussain, International Labor Organization, January 2003, www.ilo.org/ses
- "China Tries Labor Leaders Amid Protest, Crowd at courthouse highlights mounting problems for Communist Party," by Philip P. Pan, Washington Post, January 16, 2003.
- "Chinese Official Fights Corruption, and Loses, For Now," by Elisabeth Rosenthal, New York Times, January 1, 2003.
- "Sewing a seam of worker democracy in China," by Alison Maitland, Financial Times (London), December 11, 2002.
- "Workers in China Fail as Owners of Factories, Managers, Investors are taking over," by Philip P. Pan, Washington Post, December 4, 2002.
- "Labor in Waiting: The International Trade Union Movement and China," by Anita Chan, New Labor Forum, Fall/Winter 2002.
- "Tea for Two: U.S. and Chinese Labor," by Greg Mantsios, New Labor Forum, Fall/Winter 2002.
- "Growing Worker Activism Pushes Envelope in China, Worker protests spread, despite repression and official unions," by Robert A. Senser, American Educator, American Federation of Teachers, Winter 2002.
- "Creating Political Space to Defend Chinese Workers," remarks by Han Dongfang, American Educator, American Federation of Teachers, Winter 2002.
Occupational Health & Safety
- "Globalizing Technical Standards, Impact and challenges for occupational health and safety," edited by Theoni Koukoulaki and Stefano Boy, 104-page booklet from the European Trade Union Technical Bureau, 2002, www.etuc.org/tutb/
- "The role of management leadership in determining workplace safety outcomes," Report RR044 from Britains Health and Safety Executive (HSE), February 2003, www.hse.org.uk
- "Boletin de Salud Laboral para Delegadas y Delegados de Prevencion de CC.OO," is the three-times a year union safety representatives journal of the Spanish union confederation Comisiones Obreras, available for free at: www.istas.net/pe/indipex.htm
- Spanish-language page of the federal OSHA website: www.osha.gov/SLTC/spanish/index_sp.html
Reports from workplaces around the world
- "Jordans Sweatshops: The Carrot or the Stick of US Policy?" Sweatshop Watch newsletter, Spring 2003 (Vol. 9, No. 1), www.sweatshopwatch.org
- "Workers Rights Consortium Assessment of Primo S.A. de C.V. (El Salvador), Preliminary Findings and Recommendations," Workers Rights Consortium, March 19, 2003, www.workersrights.org
- "Working Conditions: Results of the Monitoring of Chinese Garment Suppliers" to three Swiss companies, report from the Clean Clothes Campaign of Switzerland, March 19, 2003, www.cleanclothes.org
- "Support Kenyan Garment Workers," Kenya Human Rights Commission, via the Clean Clothes Campaign, March 4, 2003, www.cleanclothes.org
- "Appeal for Action: North Sails in Sri Lanka," Clean Clothes campaign, March 5, 2003, www.cleanclothes.org
- "Reebok and the Global Footwear Sweatshop." (India), by Bernard DMello, Monthly Review, February 2003.
- "Made in Turkey, " about garment workers, Clean Clothes Campaign, Newsletter #16, February 2003, www.cleanclothes.org
- "Unfair Trade for Unfair Toys," report on factory conditions by the Hong Kong Christian Industrial Committee, January 10, 2003, www.cic.org.hk
-"Runaway Employer at Thailands Par Garments," Clean Clothes Campaign, January 2003, www.cleanclothes.org
- "Petition to Suspend El Salvadors Trade Preferences Under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) for Violations of Internationally Recognized Workers Rights," International Labor Rights Fund, December 2002, www.laborrights.org
- "Made in Southern Africa," Clean Clothes Campaign, December 2002, www.cleanclothes.org
- "The Gaps Global Sweatshop, A Report on the Gap in Six Countries," UNITE (U.S. union), November 2002, www.uniteunion.org
- "Working for Disney in Bangladesh A Dungeon, Not a Magic Kingdom," National Labor Committee, September 2002, www.nlcnet.org
- "The Suffering Zone, The garment industry in Madagascar," Clean Clothes Campaign, September 2002, www.cleanclothes.org
- "No Paradise for Foreign Workers," (Mauritius) Clean Clothes Campaign, September 2002, www.cleanclothes.org
Codes of Conduct
- "Nike: Free Speech or False Promises," book review by Aaron Bernstein, Business Week, April 9, 2003.
- "Workers Tool or PR Ploy? A guide to codes of international labour practices," third edition, Friedrich Ebert Stiftung and SUDWIND, March 2003, available from email@example.com
- Memo: Codes Update #13," Maquila Solidarity Network (Canada), December 2002/Janaury 2003, www.maquilasolidarity.org
- "Outsourcing Regulation: Analyzing Non-Governmental Systems of Labor Standards and Monitoring," Dara ORourke, for forthcoming issue of Policy Studies Journal, available from firstname.lastname@example.org
- "Asian Transnational Corporations Monitoring, Workshop Report 2002," Kim Aehwa and Apo Leong, Asia Monitor Resource Center, January 2003, www.amrc.org.hk
- "Using the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, Toolkits for NGOs and Trade Unions," Friends of the Earth Netherlands, December 2002, www.foenl.org/tk_english.php .
- "Corporate Responsibility and Labour Rights: Codes of Conduct in the Global Economy," edited by Phys Jenkins, Gill Seyfang and Ruth Pearson, Earthscan Books (London), 2002.
- "A Call to Action: Organizing garment workers in Southern Africa," Clean Clothes Campaign booklet, 2003, www.cleanclothes.org
- "Trade and Labor Standards: A Strategy for Developing Countries," Sandra Polaski, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 2003, www.ceip.org/pubs
- "No Way Out: Competition to make products for Western companies has revived an old form of abuse debt bondage," by Nicholas Stein, Fortune, January 8, 2003.
- "Work and Health in the Global Economy: Lessons from Developing and Industrialized Countries on the Impact of Work on Health," by C. Eduardo Siqueira, Blanca Lemus and Charles Levenstein, New Solutions, Vol. 12, No. 3, 2002.
- "If You Want to Help Us, Then Start Listening to Us! From factories and plantation in Central America, Women speak out about corporate responsibility," by Marina Prieto and Jem Bendell, New Academy of Business (UK), December 2002, www.new-academy.ac.uk
- "Alternative for the Americas," Hemispheric Social Alliance, December 2002, www.asc-hsa.org
- "Trading Places: Globalization from the bottom up," by Mark Levinson, New Labor Forum #11, fall/winter 2002.
- "Neocolonialism at Ground Zero: Globalization and Poor Women in India," by Subhashini Ali, New Labor Forum #11, fall/winter 2002
- "Out of Step: Labor and the Global Social Justice Movement," by Rachel Neumann, New Labor Forum #11, fall/winter 2002.
- "Union Revival Organizing around the world," Trades Union Congress (UK), November 2002, www.tuc.org.uk
END OF NEWSLETTER - VOL. VII, NO. 3 APRIL 11, 2003
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