Tag Archives: Worker’s Rights

US Jury Holds Chiquita Liable for Colombian Death Squad’s Murder of Banana Workers

“The verdict does not bring back the husbands and sons who were killed,” said one attorney, “but it sets the record straight and places accountability for funding terrorism where it belongs: at Chiquita’s doorstep.”

By Brett Wilkins. Published 6-11-2024 by Common Dreams

Then-AUC commander Carlos Castaño is seen here with some of his paramilitary fighters. Photo: Carlos Castaño Gil/Facebook

In what case litigants are calling the first time an American jury has held a U.S. corporation legally liable for atrocities abroad, federal jurors in Florida on Monday found that Chiquita Brands International financed a Colombian paramilitary death squad that murdered, tortured, and terrorized workers in a bid to crush labor unrest in the 1990s and 2000s.

The federal jury in West Palm Beach, Florida found the banana giant responsible for funding the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC) and awarded eight families whose members were murdered by the right-wing paramilitary group $38.3 million in damages.

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‘Argentina Stopped’: Unions Hold Second General Strike Over Milei Austerity

“It is a day of resistance and demand,” said trade groups that organized the action “in defense of democracy, labor rights, and the living wage.”

By Jessica Corbett. Published 5-10-2024 by Common Dreams

Photo: vijay banga/X

Argentina’s primary trade union federation on Thursday held another nationwide general strike, the second called since President Javier Milei, a far-right economist, took office in December and began pursuing sweeping austerity and deregulation.

The South American nation’s unions organized the strike “in defense of democracy, labor rights, and the living wage,” according to a statement from the General Confederation of Labor (CGT), the Argentine Workers’ Central Union (CTA), and the Autonomous CTA.

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Poor People’s Campaign Plans June 29 Mass Assembly, March in DC

“This is a crisis moment for our democracy,” said one campaigner. “We need for our political leaders to become moral leaders and take seriously the needs and priorities of the millions of people struggling simply to survive.”

By Jessica Corbett. Published 4-29-2024 by Common Dreams

Rev. William J. Barber II at the Democracy Awakening rally at U.S. Capitol in 2018. Photo: Becker1999/flickr/CC

Leaders of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival on Monday announced plans for the Mass Poor People & Low-Wage Workers’ Assembly & Moral March in Washington, D.C. on June 29, just over four months before the U.S. elections.

The aim of the assembly and march is to “mobilize the one-third of the U.S. electorate who are poor and low-wage infrequent voters” as well as to pressure political leaders to embrace a 17-point agenda during the 2024 election cycle and beyond.

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‘Seismic Win for Workers’: FTC Bans Noncompete Clauses

Advocates praised the FTC “for taking a strong stance against this egregious use of corporate power, thereby empowering workers to switch jobs and launch new ventures, and unlocking billions of dollars in worker earnings.”

By Jessica Corbett. Published 4-23-2024 by Common Dreams

FTC Chair Lina Khan. Photo: New America/flickr/CC

U.S. workers’ rights advocates and groups celebrated on Tuesday after the Federal Trade Commission voted 3-2 along party lines to approve a ban on most noncompete clauses, which Democratic FTC Chair Lina Khan said “keep wages low, suppress new ideas, and rob the American economy of dynamism.”

“The FTC’s final rule to ban noncompetes will ensure Americans have the freedom to pursue a new job, start a new business, or bring a new idea to market,” Khan added, pointing to the commission’s estimates that the policy could mean another $524 for the average worker, over 8,500 new startups, and 17,000 to 29,000 more patents each year.

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Starbucks seeks Supreme Court protection from being ordered to rehire baristas who say they were fired for union-promoting activities

By Michael Z. Green, Texas A&M University Published 4-11-2024 by The Conversation

Starbucks workers rally and march in Seattle. Photo: Elliot Stoller/flickr/CC

What factors must a court consider when the National Labor Relations Board requests an order requiring an employer to rehire terminated workers before the completion of unfair labor practice proceedings?

That’s the central question that the Supreme Court will consider on April 23, 2024, during oral arguments in the Starbucks Corp. v. McKinney case. The global coffee shop chain is challenging the NLRB, the federal agency responsible for enforcing U.S. workers’ rights to organize, saying that the agency used the more labor-friendly of two available standards when it asked a federal court to order the company to reinstate workers at a Memphis, Tennessee, store who lost their jobs in 2022 amid a nationwide unionizing campaign.

The Conversation U.S. asked Texas A&M law professor Michael Z. Green to explain what’s behind this case and how the court’s eventual decision, expected by the end of June, could affect the right to organize unions in the United States.

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Florida GOP Passes ‘Vicious’ Bill Banning Mandatory Water Breaks for Workers

“We will see fatalities, because of what Florida Republicans chose to do this week,” said one workers’ rights advocate.

By Julia Conley. Published 3-8-2024 by Common Dreams

Screenshot: VideoHive

Displaying “punitive cruelty” toward Florida residents who work outdoors, the Republican-controlled state House on Friday approved a bill that would ban local governments from requiring that workplaces provide water breaks and other cooling measures.

The state Senate passed the measure on Thursday, with Republicans pushing the bill through as Miami-Dade County was scheduled to vote on local water break protections. If signed into law by the Republican governor, the proposal will preempt the county’s vote.

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In ‘Direct Attack’ on Labor Movement, Amazon Backs Claim NLRB Is Unconstitutional

“So now capital, unable to hold back labor any longer, is arguing that the NLRB’s very existence is unconstitutional,” said one law professor.

By Julia Conley. Published 2-16-2024 by Common Dreams

Workers at Amazon & everywhere have a right to safety and a union Photo: Joe Piette/flickr/CC

Amid a recent surge in unionization and other workers’ rights victories, wealthy U.S. corporations have fired union organizers, surveilled employees as they voted on forming a collective bargaining unit, and closed store locations to penalize labor leaders—but a court filing by Amazon on Thursday suggested a new tactic as the e-commerce giant seeks to dismantle the federal agency tasked with protecting employees.

Fighting accusations from prosecutors at the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) that Amazon illegally retaliated against warehouse workers who unionized, the company submitted a legal filing arguing that the board itself is unconstitutional.

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Amazon Fined in France for Illegally Spying on Workers

The retail giant was also ordered to pay more than $30 million last year after allegedly surveilling customers with its tech products.

By Julia Conley. Published 1-23-2024 by Common Dreams

Photo: LSA/CC

Months after Amazon was fined more than $30 million for allegedly spying on customers in their homes, a French data watchdog on Monday announced it had ordered the retail giant to pay another $35 million for what it called “excessive” tracking of warehouse employees’ activity.

France’s National Commission on Informatics and Liberty (CNIL) informed Amazon France Logistique, which runs the U.S. company’s warehouses in the country, of the fine late last month after investigating scanning devices used by employees.

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‘Biggest Ever Global Strike Against Amazon’ Kicks Off on Black Friday

“This day of action grows every year because the movement to hold Amazon accountable keeps getting bigger and stronger,” said the head of UNI Global Union.

By Jake Johnson. Published 11-24-2023 by Common Dreams

Amazon workers and allies take part in a “Make Amazon Pay” day of action on November 24, 2023. (Photo: Global Justice Now)

Amazon workers and allies in dozens of countries around the world took to the streets Friday to protest the e-commerce behemoth’s atrocious working conditions, low pay, union busting, tax dodging, and inaction on planet-warming emissions.

The “Make Amazon Pay” strikes and rallies coincided with Black Friday, the busiest shopping day of the year and one of Amazon’s most profitable. Amazon workers across the globe—in ever-larger numbers—have been walking off the job on Black Friday for years to demand better treatment from the $1.5 trillion company.

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Reporters Without Borders Files ICC War Crimes Petition Over Israel, Hamas Killing of Journalists

“Since 2000, we have not seen a war begin with so much violence against journalists,” said the group.

By Julia Conley. Published 11-2-2023 by Common Dreams

Palestinian journalists Muhammad Sobh and Saeed Al-Taweel were killed during their work by Israeli airstrikes on October 10, 2023 in Gaza City, Gaza Photo: Ahmed Shameya/X

The international press freedom group Reporters Without Borders on Wednesday called on the International Criminal Court to formally investigate the deaths of nine journalists who have been killed in the Israel-Hamas War that began on October 7, noting that at least 34 reporters have been killed so far in the conflict.

“No other 21st century war has begun in such a deadly manner for reporters,” said Reporters Without Borders, also known as RSF. “At least 12 of them have been killed in connection with their work, most of them by Israeli strikes in Gaza.”

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