Nov. 25, 2020
Free Trade Zones & General Services Employees’ Union rallied to pressure the Sri Lankan government to adopt ILO convention 190 against workplace violence and harassment. FTZ & GSEU’s statement:
“Violence and harassment against employees in both public and private sector, in the formal and informal sector and in plantations in Sri Lanka is a growing uncivilized trend and ironically is not one that is complained against by victims and seldom spoken or discussed seriously in any forum. In the private sector, harassment and abuse against mostly female workers is commonly used as a “management tool” by middle level managers and supervisors.
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At the end of October and the beginning of November, the hurricane season brought intense days of rain to Central America, affecting the communities where workers live. On the night of October 29, 2020 at around 10 o'clock at night, a flood broke off part of the San Salvador volcano on the hillside known as “El Picacho” and destroyed the Los Angelitos 2 community, destroying some 110 homes. The wet and saturated soils made heavy rains easily trigger this tragedy. The central government authorities responded very slowly to the emergency and with a lack of coordination with the local government of the municipality.
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The League joins IUF Latin America to stand in solidarity with Odilia Caal Có, General Secretary of her factory union SITRAWinners-FESTRAS in Guatemala. Odilia was voted union president because she always worked to support her coworkers at their factory that produces for Kohl’s, Target, and Walmart. At the direction of factory management, Odilia was physically attacked inside of the factory, in a clear case of retaliation against Odilia for her union activity and insistence on standing up for her fellow workers’ rights on the job. Winners factory is a subsidiary of a Korean corporation, SEA-A, which has a history of violating workers’ rights.
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ADVANCING COLLECTIVE BARGAINING RIGHTS IN THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
In an effort to share the critical nature of collective bargaining rights in the Dominican Republic, one need look no further than the powerful organizing led by FEDOTRAZONAS. The Federation of Workers in ZONA FRANCAS DIVERSAS Y DE SERVICIO
Founded in 2002, FEDOTRAZONAS gained momentum in the textile and garment sector with the landmark union contract and reopening of the BJ&B factory in Santo Domingo. With over 18,000 members across diverse industries in the national and international market, private and public, within and outside of free trade zones, the members of this union greatly benefit from the protection of their union.
Since 2010, the rapid evolution of the Call Center industry in the Dominican Republic has led to the massive creation of a workforce largely vulnerable to corporate negligence and mistreatment of workers, but this has only motivated FEDOTRAZONAS further to organize call center workers to join the union. This industry largely targets women and youth and subject them to numerous labor violations. Most recently, FEDOTRAZONAS has joined forced with Communication Workers of America (CWA) in order to increase the capacity of our local union to collaborate with organized call center workers around the globe.
In addition to call center workers, FEDOTRAZONAS has commenced organizing workers in the commerce sector, including the company La Sirena, which has ties with the Multinational conglomerate, Walmart, and we have already achieved three union elections to date. Now in 2018, FEDOTRAZONAS has turned its focus to the expansion of organizing campaigns in the commerce sector in order to take advantage of global framework agreements with companies like Carrefour and IKEA.
FEDOTRAZONAS is only growing stronger, and with your support to the International Union League for Brand Accountability, this union will not only strengthen but fight to guarantee the future of collective bargaining in the Dominican Republic.
WE MUST DEFEND AND CARE FOR OUR WATER, OUR LIFE SOURCE IS NOT FOR SALE
Estela Marina Ramirez
Compañeros y compañeras, my name is Estela Ramirez and I represent more than a thousand workers with SITRACOSI, a textile union expanding collective bargaining rights across El Salvador. Compañeras y compañeros, I bring you urgent news from the ground here in El Salvador.
Our life source is under threat.
The Legislative Assembly of El Salvador is daring to sign an agreement to privatize the most critical resource for our land and nuestro pueblo, our community. The Assembly approves current laws in our country. Our fight is against the right-wing parties pressuring our politicians to cede our water rights.
We are witnessing yet another example of the Assembly’s weakhanded approach against corporations. Instead of maintaining our water distribution services public, as well as operated by union staff, our representatives insist on a dangerous pattern of deregulation and privatization.
After more than thirty years of seeing our government grant further control to right wing leaders and corporations, they have mounted a threat against our water, and therefore each and every being in our country.
For this reason, thousands of us have joined forces.More than 200 civil society organizations including unions, religious, student and community communities are united in this struggle.
Our demand is this. We want the ANDA (State Autonomous Council) the current, unionized administration for distributing water, to remain a public entity, and not privatized.
Will you contribute to our fight for the protection of public goods?
We have demonstrated in masses. We are risking everything in order to protect our most precious resources. Dozens of unions, non-governmental agencies, faith based organizations, and even our youth and students have suffered brutal attacks from hired security for our politicians.
But despite our cries, our deputies have yet to deny this privatization deal. In fact, when the leadership committee of all women, representing the National Alliance Against Privatization of Water were to provide testimony in a formal hearing, they turned off our lights and our microphones in an attempt to dissuade us.
But we will not stay quiet.
Compañeras y Compañeros, we ask your support in our struggle. We require resources to raise our voice, and grow our numbers in the most critical fight yet.
With your contribution here , we can protect the rights of the people, and our source of life.
Estela Marina Ramirez
I am reaching out to you on behalf of over 30,000 workers and families who are fighting for their livelihoods.
As the President of GSBI, I work to represent hundreds of workers who have sown for over 20 years for Nike Inc. in Indonesia. In the summer of 2018, at least five Indonesian Garment Unions including Serikat Pekerja Nasional/National Workers Union Federation-indonesia, protested Nike’s decision to withdraw all apparel production from Indonesia. Nike’s decision has already led to the mass termination and buyouts of thousands of workers represented by GSBI, KASBI, and DSI at PT Kaho Inda and more.
Nike first broke ground in Indonesia over fifty years ago. After decades of building their profits on the backs of Indonesian labor, they’ve decided to turn their back on thousands of us.
When it comes to the garment and textile sector, our country leads in terms of freedom of association.
Members of our union have demonstrated for job security and higher pay these last few years and we believe Nike is leaving because we have strong unions.
The majority of Nike workers in Indonesia are women. Nike pays to have a progressive facade, but behind that mask of “empowered women and brave athletes” is us. Workers fighting for our jobs. We ask you to listen to us, and not to Nike’s PR.
In partnership with United Students Against Sweatshops, we are launching a global campaign to demand that Nike stop betraying the unionized workers in Indonesia who create their profits.
With your support, we have a real chance at winning.
Will you join our fight? Donate today to support our union, and unions around the world in similar struggles, in getting the support we need to take on the biggest sportswear corporation in the world, and keep our jobs.
#KeepNikeUnion #NikeGhostTown #NikeResponsibility
International Union League for Brand Responsibility
To learn more about the “Nike Ghost Town” campaign, go to usas.org/nike.
National labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno condemned the intensified harassment of unionists and labor leaders over the past weeks, charging the Duterte regime with “red-tagging, fearmongering, and fascism in their bogus claim of a ‘Red October’ destabilization plot.”
State agents have threatened and harassed Joseph Pausal, national coordinator of contractual workers’ organization Kilos na Manggagawa (KNM); and Neditha Jadie, national secretary of the KMU campaign department.
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My name is Harshitha, and I am the Technical Team Member in Asia for the International League for Brand Responsibility.
I have the honor to organize alongside brave garment workers and members of the Garment and Textile Workers Union (GATWU) in Bangalore, India fighting to form an independent union in an Avery Dennison supplier factory.
Avery Dennison produces for brands like Levi’s, H&M, Gap and more.
I am writing to you today to share with you the alarming updates from the factory floor, and to ask your support.
GATWU is fighting to grow our union to combat management’s coercion and unequal pay practices. Through legal means, we are fighting to reinstate 52 dismissed contract workers and demand back pay against major violations of the Minimum Wage act. The Ethical Trading Initiative has taken the lead in conducting the mediation between management and our union, despite Avery Dennison's attempt to delay the process.
Furthermore, in an act of bad faith, Avery Dennison recently announced it would effectively end overtime benefits for members of GATWU in order to weaken them financially and persuade them to not join the union.
This action is part and parcel of a consistent pattern of retaliation from management against our union. Our members are standing strong to demand reinstatement and respect for overtime benefits. We are holding trainings for workers producing for H&M and wearing pamphlets and buttons on the factory floor to galvanize support.
We are fighting to collectively bargain for fair wages and fair hours.
Avery Dennison has a fight on their hands. Will you support us in this critical moment?
Please consider donating to the League today. Your donation here goes towards supporting GATWU leaders in ensuring job security and fair wages today!
Garment and Textile Workers Union
17 September 2018
National labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) joins other marginalized and oppressed sectors this week at the International Peoples’ Tribunal (IPT) 2018 in Brussels, Belgium, charging President Rodrigo Duterte with gross, systematic labor rights violations and other crimes against Filipino workers and the Filipino people.
KMU’s delegates to the tribunal, set to be conducted on September 18-19, include representatives from the banana plantation workers of Sumifru, based in Compostela Valley; contractual workers of condiment giant NutriAsia, based in Bulacan; and drivers and operators of national transport group PISTON.
“Over the past two years, Duterte has actively worsened the plight of Filipino workers. He must be held accountable for his crimes,” said Lito Ustarez, KMU Vice-Chairperson for Political and External Affairs.
The Philippines was tagged by the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) in its 2018 report as among the “worst countries in the world for workers,” based on deteriorating conditions of labor in the country.
“Under this regime, workers who protest these unjust and inhumane conditions have been killed, arrested, and brutally dispersed for daring to fight for their rights and welfare,” said Ustarez.
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Union League member Free Trade Zones & General Services Employees' Union (FTZ & GSEU) in Sri Lanka calls on League supporters to sign their petition to the Sri Lankan President, Maithripala Sirisena, to ensure that the Department of Labour protect workers' fundamental right to organize.
Sign the union's petition now
Show your support for workers' fundamental rights in Sri Lanka! The workers are standing up to the interests of large, highly profitable corporations who align themselves with the governments of Producing Countries to drive conditions and wages down for their own profit!
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