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Migrant Fishers Union and Allies Outraged by Seafood Industry’s ‘Tone-Deaf’ Admission that Isolation is Deliberate

Seafood industry tells migrant fishers experiencing forced labor and horrific work conditions that being able to communicate while at sea will “hinder their work mood”

TAIPEI—Unions, worker organizations, and civil society organizations in the Wi-Fi Now for Fishers’ Rights campaign have responded to comments by the Taiwan Tuna Association, opposing Wi-Fi for fishers under the pretext that isolation enhances productivity.

“The Tuna Association’s brazen and tone-deaf comments reveal a shocking truth–they prioritize productivity over the fundamental labor rights and well-being of the fishers and their families. Fishers should have the right to access their pay, voice concerns to unions or officials, and maintain contact with their families,” emphasized Achmad Mudzakir, Chairman of the Indonesian Seafarers Gathering Forum (FOSPI). 

In an interview with industry publication Seafood Source, a representative from the Taiwan Tuna Administration stated that they believe that providing Wi-Fi for fishers will “seriously hinder their work mood” and distract them from their work.

“The Taiwanese distant-water fishing business model should not depend on exploiting forced labor and the complete seclusion of migrant fishers. If Taiwan’s fishing industry really wants to improve fishers’ work moods and conditions, it would provide mandatory secure Wi-Fi internet access on all deep-sea fishing vessels so fishers can communicate with their families and with their unions to report any abuses in real-time,” said Jennifer (JJ) Rosenbaum, Executive Director of Global Labor Justice–International Labor Rights Forum. “Migrant fishers face extraordinary barriers to freedom of association. Wi-Fi access would provide a lifeline for migrant fishers and a crucial first step towards ensuring that the Taiwanese fishing industry, and the brands it supplies, uphold their commitments to human rights, supplier codes of conduct, and global labor standards,” added Rosenbaum.

Migrant fishers in Taiwan’s distant-water fleet are speaking out against the conditions they face, including forced labor, physical abuse, wage theft, death and disappearances at sea, and a total lack of communication with their families and the outside world while at sea for months at a time. The plight of migrant fishers in Taiwan’s fleet has garnered renewed attention after the recent explosive story from the Guardian on the horrific working conditions faced by the fishers who supply 1.8 billion USD of Taiwan’s distant-water fishing products, including tuna and squid, to major global markets.

The Wi-Fi Now For Fishers’ Rights Campaign is made up of  U.S., Taiwanese and Indonesian allies, including the Indonesian Seafarers Gathering Forum, or Forum Silaturahmi Pelaut Indonesia (FOSPI), Global Labor Justice – International Labor Rights Forum (GLJ-ILRF), Taiwan Association for Human Rights (TAHR), Stella Maris Kaohsiung, Serve the People Association (SPA), and Humanity Research Consultancy (HRC).

Contact: Julie Blust 215-713-6777 julieblust at globallaborjustice.org
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TAIPEI – Earlier today, migrant fishers and key allies in the “Wi-Fi NOW for Fishers’ Rights” campaign, which is led by the Indonesian Seafarers Gathering Forum (FOSPI), Global Labor Justice – International Labor Rights Forum (GLJ-ILRF), Taiwan Association for Human Rights (TAHR), Stella Maris Kaohsiung, Serve the People Association (SPA), and Humanity Research Consultancy (HRC), met with the Premier of the Republic of China (ROC) or Taiwan, His Excellency Chen Chien-jen, to share fishers’ first-hand experiences working in Taiwan’s distant-water fishing fleet and to present their proposed solution to improve working conditions in their industry — mandatory Wi-Fi on board all 1,100 Taiwanese distant-water fishing vessels. 

Migrant fishers working in Taiwan’s distant-water fleet are calling for mandatory Wi-Fi on vessels to reduce forced labor risks and to ensure fishers can access fundamental labor rights without fear of retaliation. Every year, Taiwan’s distant-water fishing industry exports roughly 1 billion USD of distant-water fishing products, including tuna and squid, to major global markets. Evidence-based reports show that forced labor is present on Taiwanese fishing vessels, and in 2022 the United States (US) government included fish from Taiwan in its “list of goods and their source countries which it has reason to believe are produced by child labor or forced labor in violation of international standards.”

“We stand at the crossroads of a pivotal moment in the lives of migrant distant-water fishers, who tirelessly work on Taiwanese vessels, contributing not only to the nation’s economy but also to the global seafood industry,” said Mudzakir Achmad, Chairman of Indonesian Seafarers Gathering Forum (FOSPI), which represents migrant fishers in Taiwan’s distant-water fishing industry. “We thank His Excellency Chen Chien-jen for his willingness to listen to us and we hope that he will support us in our petition for mandatory and regulated Wi-Fi access on all vessels. For us, Wi-Fi is not a luxury, but our only means while we are working at sea to connect to our families, to address issues in real-time, and to seek help when needed. It represents a lifeline for those who endure the hardships of distant-water fishing.”

At the meeting, migrant fishers and their allies delivered to His Excellency Chen Chien-jen a petition with over 13,000 signatures supporting the call for mandatory Wi-Fi, including from 1,000 migrant fishers themselves and from more than 10,000 online supporters

The “Wi-Fi NOW for Fishers’ Rights” campaign is also seeking inclusion of mandatory Wi-Fi in the labor chapter of the US-Taiwan Initiative on 21st Century Trade, which is currently under negotiation. “Our appeal for mandatory, secure, and cost-free Wi-Fi access for fishers on every Taiwanese distant-water fishing vessel aligns with Taiwan’s own commitments to address forced labor risks in this industry and to comply with International Labor Organization (ILO) Convention 188 on Work in Fishing,” said Valery Alzaga, Deputy Director of Global Labor Justice-International Labor Rights Forum (GLJ-ILRF). 

To guarantee that Wi-Fi is accessible for fishers and supports fishers’ labor rights, migrant fishers and their allies are calling for mandatory Wi-Fi to meet the following key criteria:

  1. Accessibility for all fishers on board; 
  2. Costs of Wi-Fi are not passed on to the fishers; 
  3. Data privacy protections to ensure the confidentiality of fishers’ communications and prevent retaliation;
  4. Reasonable and transparent rules for when and how fishers use it consistent with occupational safety and health for all workers; and
  5. A conflict resolution pathway agreed with vessel owners to remedy violations without retaliation.

The campaign has also called on corporations in or connected to Taiwan’s distant-water fishing industry to participate in a roundtable with industry, labor, and government to discuss Wi-Fi implementation, leading towards a pilot program on several vessels that can inform implementation across Taiwan’s fleet. “Global seafood brands and retailers sourcing from Taiwan should join us to address abusive labor conditions for fishers in their supply chains. Otherwise, these corporations risk continued exposure to forced labor import bans and other similar legal consequences,” said Alzaga of GLJ-ILRF. 

Petition (English) – https://secure.avaaz.org/campaign/en/wi_fi_on_board_loc/

Petition (Mandarin) – https://secure.avaaz.org/campaign/ct/wi_fi_on_board_loc/

Petition (Indonesian) – https://avaaz.org/campaign/id/wifi_on_board_id/

Petition (Japanese) – https://secure.avaaz.org/campaign/jp/wi_fi_on_board_asia_1/

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GLJILRF is a non-profit public-interest organization dedicated to achieving dignity and justice for workers worldwide. GLJ-ILRF focuses on enforcing labor rights and promoting decent work conditions consistent with best practices and International Labour Organization (ILO) standards in the low-wage sections of global supply chains such as commercial fishing. GLJ-ILRF engages in research, policy work, advocacy, and education of the public and consumers.

 

Washington – Global Labor JusticeInternational Labor Rights Forum  (GLJ-ILRF) welcomes the decision by the Canadian Ombudsperson for Responsible Enterprise (CORE) to investigate whether fashion giant Nike and Dynasty Gold, a mining company, have benefitted from Uyghur forced labor. The decision, announced July 11, stems from allegations filed by 28 rights groups, led by the Uyghur Rights Advocacy Project and Canadians in Support of Refugees in Dire Need. 

“CORE’s decision to investigate is an important step to ensuring Nike does not profit or benefit from forced labor, which is a key instrument of the genocide and crimes against humanity targeting Uyghurs,” said Allison Gill, Forced Labor Program Director at GLJ-ILRF, a steering committee member of the Coalition to End Forced Labor in the Uyghur Region. “Forced labor in global supply chains drives labor standards down and hurts working people everywhere. We hope this investigation spurs broader action by Canada to hold companies accountable for forced labor and to block goods made with forced labor from entering the Canadian market.” GLJ-ILRF called on all companies to map their supply chains and business relationships and cut ties with entities connected to the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (Uyghur Region) or that use the forced labor of Uyghurs or other Turkic and/or Muslim people in China. 

In February, GLJ-ILRF joined forces with the Asia Floor Wage Alliance and unions across five countries in South and Southeast Asia representing workers at Nike factories to file a complaint with the US National Contact Point (NCP) for the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) stemming from the human rights impacts of massive COVID wage losses. The complaint alleges that Nike has not addressed and remediated the impacts according to the 2011 OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, including that Nike had ignored unions’ repeated requests for dialogue about the dire impact on workers and their families and the differential gendered impact. OECD confidentiality rules prohibit publication of the Specific Instance and parties’ further comments about the process. A summary of the Specific Instance is available here.

“The allegations of Nike using forced Uyghur labor in its supply chain are serious and, together with the well-documented human rights crisis faced by garment workers in Nike’s supply chain during the COVID pandemic, suggest a clear pattern of insufficient due diligence by Nike that harms workers,” said Sahiba Gill, Senior Staff Attorney at GLJ-ILRF. “Nike should engage with labor organizations at every stage of due diligence to assess and address the impacts its business has on workers. Government-led processes like CORE and the US NCP can help  ensure that Nike respects workers.”.”

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Global Labor Justice International Labor Rights Forum (GLJ – ILRF) is a non-governmental organization that works transnationally to advance policies and laws that protect decent work; to strengthen freedom of association and workers’ ability to advocate for their rights, and to hold corporations accountable for labor rights violations in their supply chains.

In the first year, 98% of grievances were resolved, including all GBVH cases

Dindigul, Tamil Nadu, India One year after the signing of the historic Dindigul Agreement, a new report documents how major global fashion companies, a clothing and textile supplier and labor organizations have empowered women garment workers including migrants in India to respond to and eliminate gender-based violence and harassment (GBVH) and caste-based discrimination and win more rights in their workplace.

In 2022, global brands H&M Group, Gap Inc. and PVH Corp. along with Eastman Exports and Tamil Nadu Textile and Common Labour Union (TTCU), the Asia Floor Wage Alliance (AFWA), and Global Labor Justice-International Labor Rights Forum (GLJILRF) committed to joint accountability to end GBVH at Eastman factories in Dindigul, Tamil Nadu, India. 

In the first year of the agreement, reports from workers and other data show that a worker and union-led model created positive impacts for women workers that have surpassed even the bold predictions by the committed parties in meaningful and measurable ways.

From April to December of 2022, workers using the provisions of the Agreement raised 185 grievances: 

  • 177 (96%) were raised by women
  • 98% of the 185 grievances workers raised at the factory were resolved
  • 90% of grievances were resolved within a week
  • All 23 GBVH cases raised were resolved 
  • Over 30 union-management meetings to resolve grievances held at the worksite.
  • 58 worker shop-floor monitors were trained to identify GBVH and accompany workers in the grievance process
  • Over 2,000 workers and management were trained on GBVH and the terms of the agreement, including senior management, support staff and contract bus drivers.

“I was one of the first women who used the grievance redressal mechanism of the Dindigul Agreement to report gender-based violence … As a veteran in this industry, I still cannot believe I received justice; and I know that this would have never happened had the Dindigul Agreement not been signed, and the union had not been present on the factory floor. I really want to continue working for this factory now,” said garment worker Amalajyoth, who maintains the feeding record in the garment unit. 

The Dindigul Agreement enables women to have collective voice, agency and power in their workplace and in the fashion supply chain. The report highlights how the decisive and timely remediation of GBVH under the Agreement has also led to successful remediation of other types of labor violations under national law regarding minimum wages, payment of social security, workplace hazards, and other workplace conditions. 

The development of a multi-tier bottom-up survivor-centered GBVH identification, prevention, and remediation system, along with mature industrial relations has also helped Eastman Exports increase worker efficiency by 16%, increased reporting to work on time by 4.3%  and has reduced attrition rate by 67% between 2021 and 2022.

“The agreement has created a space of social dialogue between the union and the management of Eastman Exports. This has enabled us to help both workers and management improve working conditions as well as efficiency of production. Transparent conversations are happening between management and workers– leading to less conflicts, mature industrial relations and improved trust and confidence in management among workers,” said Thivya Rakini, TTCU President.

“We value the work put in by the organizations, and together, have come a long way. We believe in an employee first culture and will continue to imbibe best practices at work. We firmly believe in fostering a healthy and supportive environment, where every employee feels heard, respected, and valued. We remain steadfast in our commitment to ensuring fair treatment, equitable opportunities, and a supportive workplace for our valued workforce,” said Cibi Karthic, Director, Eastman Exports. 

“The Dindigul Agreement addresses the fundamental power imbalances within the factory floor, and gives the victims and survivors of GBVH an opportunity to remediate GBVH, based on their lived experiences. This democratizes workplaces, improves the retention of women workers, and increases work efficiency and worker well being. This is why we believe the Dindigul Agreement is a model that works for  workers, suppliers and brands alike,” said AFWA International Coordinator Anannya Bhattacharjee. 

The role fashion brands play in the Dindigul Agreement makes it especially effective.

​​“Using ILO C190 definitions and concepts and centering women’s agency in grievance handling and remediation, the Dindigul Agreement has shown what works,” said GLJ-ILRF Executive Director Jennifer (JJ) Rosenbaum. “Investors and brands who are serious about their human rights due diligence obligations have a model for responding to the gender-based violence and systemic discrimination in garment supply chains that employ over 94 million workers globally.”    

The Dindigul Agreement’s impact has gone beyond GBVH prevention with many positive echoes in the factory: creating better jobs that promote equity and a democratic workplace culture; preventing other kinds of rights violations; joint problem solving between workers and management; meaningful remediation as defined by women workers; and appropriate roles for the union, supplier and fashion brands. In addition, the U.S. Government has recognized that the Dindigul Agreement strengthened supply chain accountability and provided meaningful remediation from forced labor indicators. 

The many positive impacts in its first year make clear that the Dindigul Agreement is a model for unions, suppliers, brands, and investors committed to preventing GBVH, promoting the agency and empowerment of women garment workers, and eliminating forced labor. 

The Program Agreement text is available as an appendix to the report. 

The Agreement was signed in honor of the loss of a young garment worker, TTCU member, and Eastman employee, Jeyasre Kathirvel, whose life was tragically cut short as a result of GBVH. 

Read the report here.

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Tamil Nadu Textile and Common Labour Union (TTCU) is an independent, Dalit women-led trade union of textile workers organizing to end GBVH, wage theft, and caste-based violence in garment factories.  

Global Labor Justice International Labor Rights Forum (GLJ – ILRF) is a non-governmental organization that works transnationally to advance policies and laws that protect decent work; to strengthen freedom of association and workers’ ability to advocate for their rights; and to hold corporations accountable for labor rights violations in their supply chains.

Asia Floor Wage Alliance (AFWA) is an Asian labour-led global labour and social alliance across garment producing countries (such as India, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Bangladesh) and consumer regions (USA and Europe) for addressing poverty level wages, gender-based violence, and freedom of association in global garment production networks.

The Groups Say Thailand Should Have Been Downgraded to Tier 2 Watchlist, and Taiwan Downgraded to Tier 2 

Washington D.C. – Global Labor Justice International Labor Rights Forum (GLJ-ILRF) and allies in the Seafood Working Group (SWG) today said the U.S. State Department is neglecting labor rights abuses in Taiwan and Thailand’s fishing industry as it maintains their current rankings in the latest Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report.

For years, the SWG has urged the U.S. State Department to use its diplomatic power to promote respect for labor rights. This year the group issued its own reports on Thailand and Taiwan, detailing its findings of the government’s failure to prevent and address labor rights violations, forced labor, and human trafficking of migrant workers, and calling on the U.S. State Department to downgrade both countries in the TIP Report, which is the U.S. government’s principal diplomatic tool to engage foreign governments on human trafficking.

Instead, the State Department announced its decision to maintain Thailand at Tier 2 and maintain Taiwan at Tier 1, rankings for countries that are either meeting minimum standards to address labor trafficking or taking significant steps to do so.

“This year’s rankings give a pass to Taiwan and Thailand for repression of workers’ rights. The State Department should not consider any country to be taking significant steps to address trafficking while it fails to protect the freedom of association for vulnerable workers, including migrant workers and fishers. In particular, labor power, beginning with labor rights for all workers, including migrants, must be the focus of any response to forced labor and trafficking,” said GLJ-ILRF Forced Labor Program Director Allison Gill. “The U.S. should only grant Tier 1 or 2 status to a country when the government has developed laws and related practices that ensure migrant workers’ fundamental labor rights, including freedom of association and collective bargaining rights, health and safety protections, and non-discrimination protections. Taiwan and Thailand both fail to meet that standard.”

Fishing workers and their labor organizations in both Taiwan and Thailand and international allies have called for key changes to the industry that will enable fishers in both countries to exercise their fundamental labor rights. In Taiwan, migrant fishers are demanding access to guaranteed, free and encrypted Wi-Fi at sea so they may communicate with each other, and their unions and report abuse in real-time. In Thailand, migrant fishers and seafood processing workers and their allies are demanding the removal of the discriminatory provision in the Labor Relations Act that reserves the right to form and lead a union to Thai nationals only.

“As GLJ-ILRF’s work has shown, freedom of association and collective bargaining rights are critical for workers fighting back against forced labor, particularly migrant workers, and for creating durable solutions, said GLJ-ILRF Senior Seafood Campaign Coordinator Kimberly Rogovin. “The more the global seafood sector is organized, the less abuse arises. Thailand and Taiwan are both major players in the global fishing industry, sending tuna, shrimp, and other seafood and seafood by-products to the U.S. and around the world. In both countries, workers in the industry face serious abuses and barriers to joining and forming unions.”

In its reports, the SWG called on the State Department to use the TIP Report and the ranking process to support these demands. While the 2023 TIP Report discounts labor rights in its rankings — the U.S. Government can and should support labor rights in the fishing and seafood processing industries in both countries in policymaking.

Taiwan has made insufficient efforts to remain at Tier 1

While the TIP Office has chosen not to advance the interests of labor in its assessment of Taiwan, the U.S. government should be using the U.S.-Taiwan Initiative on 21st Century Trade to protect and enhance rights of workers, including migrant fishers, in Taiwan. As part of any successful trade initiative that addresses forced labor in global supply chains, the Taiwanese government should continue to improve its regulatory practices in advancing the rights of distant-water fishers — in particular, ensuring satellite internet access and fishers’ freedom of association rights on the high seas.

“Both the Taiwan and U.S. governments, who have committed to addressing forced labor as part of the worker-centric trade initiative, should treat access to Wi-Fi as a litmus test for meaningful progress on freedom of association and forced labor prevention for migrant fishers,” said Yi-Hsiang Shih, Secretary General of Taiwan Association for Human Rights (TAHR).

Thailand falls short of minimum standards

The State Department should not have issued the government of Thailand a Tier 2 ranking, as Thai law still prohibits the approximately 4 million Southeast Asian migrant workers from forming or leading labor unions, in violation of fundamental labor standards. As part of its TIP 2022 Action Plan, the Government of Thailand committed in August 2022 to develop laws that would grant migrant workers the legal right to establish labor unions but it has failed to do so. The Labor Relations Act remains unreformed. This explicit discrimination in the law has silenced migrant workers and created huge power imbalances, both of which foster the conditions for forced labor.

“Due to exploitative recruitment practices, a majority of migrant fishers arrive in Thailand in debt bondage, where they do not have the ability to change employers, and have their passports and identity documents retained — clear violations of migrant workers’ rights and red flags for forced labor,” said Johnny Hansen, Chair of the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) Fisheries Section. “Fishers throughout Thailand are organizing to protect themselves after reporting not being paid properly, being forced to work uncompensated overtime, and working in unsafe conditions—but have been denied basic freedom of association and collective bargaining rights that could improve their situation. Thailand is failing to effectively enforce ILO Convention 188 that establishes minimum standards, and is rapidly backsliding into the abhorrent labor conditions in the seafood supply chain that preceded the EU yellow card in 2015,” Hansen said.

The Government of Thailand has also increased migrant workers’ vulnerability to forced labor by permitting SLAPP suits, which aim to silence workers and human rights defenders, to remain ongoing in the Thai judicial system.

The government has also continued to rely on short-term migration management policies that put migrant workers at greater risk of forced labor.

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Global Labor Justice International Labor Rights Forum (GLJ – ILRF) is a non-governmental organization that works transnationally to advance policies and laws that protect decent work; to strengthen freedom of association and workers’ ability to advocate for their rights; and to hold corporations accountable for labor rights violations in their supply chains.

The Seafood Working Group (SWG) is a global coalition of human rights, labor, and environmental organizations that work together to develop and advocate for effective government policies and industry actions to end the related problems of labor exploitation, illegal fishing, and overfishing in the international seafood trade.

 

For Immediate Release

June 5, 2023

Contact:
Rachel Cohen, GLJ-ILRF, racohen78@gmail.com
Tanya Brooks, Greenpeace USA Senior Communications Specialist, P: 703-342-9226, E: tbrooks@greenpeace.org

Ahead of TIP Report, Labor Rights Activists Urge U.S. to Call for Thailand and Taiwan to Protect Migrant Workers and End Forced Labor in Seafood Industry

Seafood Working Group Recommends U.S. Downgrading Taiwan to ‘Tier 2’ and Thailand to ‘Tier 2 Watchlist’ in the 2023 Trafficking in Persons Report

WASHINGTON, DC (June 5, 2023) – Global Labor Justice – International Labor Rights Forum (GLJ-ILRF), Greenpeace USA, and allies in the Seafood Working Group (SWG) today announced their findings of labor rights violations, forced labor, and human trafficking of migrant workers in Thailand and Taiwan and called on the U.S. Department of State to downgrade both countries in its 2023 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report in order to hold the governments accountable for these abuses.

“In our submissions, workers and their allies make clear that continuous barriers to migrant workers’ ability to exercise their fundamental labor rights, including discriminatory legal frameworks, short-term guest worker policies, and misconduct by authorities, must be addressed to end exploitation,” said Jennifer (JJ) Rosenbaum, Executive Director of GLJ-ILRF.We intend that the submissions to the State Department bring workers’ experiences into policy-making spaces in the U.S. and in Thailand and Taiwan. Our experience shows that ensuring workers’ fundamental rights to freedom of association and collective bargaining prevents situations of exploitation that lead to forced labor from occurring in the first place.”

Tefere Gebre, Chief Program Officer for Greenpeace USA, said, “For many years, the Greenpeace network has documented serious issues of human trafficking and forced labor in the Taiwanese distant water fishing industry. While lives are at stake, governments and businesses have not addressed these issues with the urgency and resources they require. The revelations in our submission detail issues happening right now and should deepen concerns about the high-risk nature of the seafood supply chain. We call on the U.S. government to increase its monitoring of seafood imports and strengthen efforts to prevent these harms from occurring in the first place. Companies that source these products must prioritize the safety and wellbeing of workers in their supply chains, and ensure their customers receive products free from forced labor and modern slavery.”

Thailand falls short of minimum standards 

The SWG recommends that the U.S. downgrade Thailand to the Tier 2 Watchlist in 2023 as it  continues to fall short of the minimum standards the U.S. has set under the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (TVPA) to eliminate forced labor. The Government of Thailand has not provided evidence of increasing efforts to combat severe forms of trafficking in persons compared to the previous year, including not adequately adopting the majority of the TIP Office’s Prioritized Recommendations outlined in the 2022 TIP Report.

The Government of Thailand committed in August 2022 to granting migrant workers the legal right to establish labor unions as part of its anti-trafficking efforts, but it has not fulfilled its promise. The government also adopted anti-trafficking measures intended to strengthen the identification of survivors of forced labor, but has not effectively implemented these new policies on the ground. The Thailand submission documents 17 cases of potential forced labor, including cases in which workers are unable to resign due to document retention, withholding of wages, physical violence, debt bondage, or death threats.

“The Thai government needs to ensure migrant workers are paid adequate wages, do not have to pay high fees to brokers, and are not harassed by authorities, as we need decent jobs here because it is not safe to return to Myanmar,” said a female seafood processing worker and member of the Migrant Workers’ Rights Network (MWRN) in Thailand. 

“After progressive parties won most of the votes in Thailand’s recent general election, we are hopeful a future government will implement policies to protect migrant workers’ rights, particularly rights to unionization for all workers, including migrant workers, said Roisai Wongsuban, Senior Program Advisor at The Freedom Fund. 

Taiwan has made insufficient efforts to remain at Tier 1

The SWG also recommends that Taiwan should be downgraded to Tier 2 as it fails to meet the TVPA minimum standards but is making significant efforts to bring themselves into compliance with those standards. To maintain a Tier 1 ranking, governments need to demonstrate appreciable progress each year in combating trafficking. During the reporting period, the Taiwanese government made efforts to improve the working conditions in its distant water fishing industry, however, these have not been appreciable. The findings of this submission show that Taiwan has not made progress on the majority of the TIP Office’s Prioritized Recommendations from their 2022 Report.

“The government has made some improvements in recent years, such as installing CCTV on vessels, increasing crew salaries, and requiring life jackets. However, migrant fishers still remain totally isolated from the outside world when sailing on the high seas for months. Communication access through Wi-Fi on board is the most powerful thing to protect workers’ rights, prevent forced labor, and maintain the mental health of workers on the high seas,” said Ahmed Mudzakir, Chairman, Indonesian Seafarers’ Gathering Forum (FOSPI).

“The 21st Century Initiative on trade between Taiwan and the U.S. is quickly being developed. To facilitate a successful trade initiative between the U.S. and Taiwan and to prevent any products sourced from Taiwan involving labor exploitation, the Taiwanese government should continue to improve its regulatory practices in advancing the rights of distant water fishers. This means ending the two-tiered employment system, properly regulating the recruitment agencies to implement the ILO’s fair recruitment principles, and ensuring internet access and fishers’ freedom of association rights on the high seas,” said Lennon Ying-Dah Wong, Director of the Dept. of Politics on Migrant Workers, Serve the People Association (SPA). 

There have been well-documented cases of labor abuse in the Taiwanese fishing industry. For two years in a row, the U.S. Department of Labor placed Taiwan-caught fish on its list of goods produced by child labor or forced labor. In September 2022, Greenpeace East Asia published the report, Fake My Catch, which documented forced labor indicators on six Taiwan-owned or – flagged fishing vessels supplying to Bumble Bee Seafoods, including excessive overtime and retention of identity documents. Over two-thirds of the surveyed workers reportedly had their wages withheld.  

Click here to read the comments from the Seafood Working Group to the U.S. State Department on Thailand and Taiwan

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Global Labor Justice International Labor Rights Forum (GLJ – ILRF) is a non-governmental organization that works transnationally to advance policies and laws that protect decent work; to strengthen freedom of association and workers’ ability to advocate for their rights; and to hold corporations accountable for labor rights violations in their supply chains.

Greenpeace USA is part of a global network of independent campaigning organizations that use peaceful protest and creative communication to expose global environmental problems and promote solutions that are essential to a green and peaceful future. Greenpeace USA is committed to transforming the country’s unjust social, environmental, and economic systems from the ground up to address the climate crisis, advance racial justice, and build an economy that puts people first. Learn more at www.greenpeace.org/usa.

The Seafood Working Group (SWG) is a global coalition of human rights, labor and environmental organizations that work together to develop and advocate for effective government policies and industry actions to end the related problems of labor exploitation, illegal fishing and overfishing in the international seafood trade.

The Wi-Fi Now For Fishers’ Rights Campaign issued the following statement on the U.S.-Taiwan Initiative on 21st Century Trade:

On Tuesday, May 23rd, dozens of Taiwanese unions, civil society organizations, and migrant worker organizations in Taipei issued their demands for the U.S.-Taiwan Initiative on 21st-Century Trade to the Taiwanese and U.S. governments, calling on the governments to protect labor and the environment as they negotiate the trade initiative this year.

The Wi-Fi Now For Fishers’ Rights Campaign, represented by the Taiwan Association for Human Rights (TAHR), Serve the People Association (SPA), and the Indonesian Seafarers Gathering Forum (FOSPI), participated in the action to ensure fishers’ rights in Taiwan are protected in the labor chapter of the trade initiative. Our coalition members called for the trade initiative to include special protections for migrant fishers in Taiwan’s distant-water fishing fleet, specifically: guaranteed and secure Wi-Fi communication while at sea to ensure their ILO fundamental labor rights, including the right to form and join unions.

Migrant workers are a major contributor to the Taiwanese economy, with more than 750,000 working in many key industries under unjust and abusive working conditions. More than 22,000 Southeast Asian migrants work in Taiwan’s fishing industry, which comprises over a thousand vessels that fish in all of the world’s oceans. Fishers at sea face forced labor and other abusive conditions that have driven them to organize unions – but without regular Wi-Fi access to connect them back to shore, the ocean is effectively a “no union zone” for too many of these workers. This violates international standards on fundamental labor rights that Taiwan and the United States have committed to upholding as part of the trade initiative.  Our campaign has called on the U.S. and Taiwan to ensure fishers can exercise their international labor rights, including freedom of association, by ensuring access to Wi-Fi communication at sea. 

Seafood production in Taiwan is a pivotal industry for labor and should be addressed in the trade initiative. Taiwan has the world’s second-biggest distant-water fleet and the U.S. is the second largest importer of seafood worldwide. Much of the tuna and other fish that fishers catch on Taiwanese vessels is sold in the U.S. and Taiwan’s fish has been listed on the U.S. Department of Labor List of Goods Produced by Child Labor or Forced Labor for the past two years.  

The Wi-Fi Campaign met with trade negotiators in the U.S. and Taiwan earlier this year and proposed concrete language for the labor chapter that would ensure fishers’ rights are protected in the trade initiative. During this week’s action, the delegation brought their demands to the Executive Yuan, Legislative Yuan and the American Institute of Taiwan (AIT). 

We launched our international campaign to support migrant fishers in their fight for Wi-Fi because the fishers’ have named it as a key component in their fight for their fundamental labor rights at sea. They face extremely severe abuses in Taiwan’s fishing industry, which have been documented by the U.S. government and other actors. Last year, the Biden Administration issued a high-level memorandum identifying forced labor as a major issue in distant water fishing, especially “Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated” or “IUU” fishing.  

We urge the Executive Yuan and the Biden administration to ensure that the U.S.-Taiwan Initiative on 21st Century Trade contains commitments to fundamental labor rights for all workers, including freedom of association, health and safety protections, and elimination of forced labor and discrimination against migrant workers. We will continue our advocacy as negotiations continue. 

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The Wi-Fi Now For Fishers’ Rights Campaign is made up of  U.S., Taiwanese and Indonesian allies, including the Indonesian Seafarers Gathering Forum, or Forum Silaturahmi Pelaut Indonesia (FOSPI), Global Labor Justice – International Labor Rights Forum (GLJ-ILRF), Taiwan Association for Human Rights (TAHR), Stella Maris Kaohsiung, Serve the People Association (SPA), and Humanity Research Consultancy (HRC).

 

Click here for more info about the Wi-Fi Now for Fishers’ Rights at Sea campaign.

Global Labor JusticeInternational Labor Rights Forum joins the International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers’ Associations (IUF), the  International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), and trade unions around the world in condemning the guilty verdicts and prison sentences in Cambodia for nine labor rights defenders and leaders of the Labour Rights Supported Union of Khmer Employees (LRSU) including LRSU President Chhim Sithar.  The charges are rooted in lawful union actions related to an ongoing labor dispute at the NagaWorld Casino Hotel. Organizing and campaigning for access to national law and international labor standards for workers should never be a crime.  If this verdict and sentences remain, they risk harm to those charged and sentenced and a broader chilling effect on lawful worker organizing, and an increase in labor rights violations.  

GLJ-ILRF also adds its voice to calls on NagaCorp and its investors to resolve the underlying labor issues including reinstating terminated workers and engaging in good-faith negotiations with LRSU.  As part of this, NagaCorp should also join the calls for Chimm Sithar to be released and the withdrawal of all charges against her and the other LRSU leaders for their labor rights defender efforts.  

For more information on the labor rights struggle at NagaWorld and regular updates, please see the newly released IUF’s web resources which gives the public a detailed history of this labor dispute and is available in English, Khmer and Chinese.

You can read the joint statement from the IUF and ITUC below.

Contact: Rachel Cohen, racohen78@gmail.com

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Global Labor JusticeInternational Labor Rights Forum (GLJ – ILRF) is a non-governmental organization that works transnationally to advance policies and laws that protect decent work; to strengthen freedom of association and workers’ ability to advocate for their rights; and to hold corporations accountable for labor rights violations in their supply chains. 

May 25, 2023

IUF and ITUC Statement on the Verdicts and Prison Sentences for LRSU leaders including LRSU President Chhim Sithar by Cambodia’s Phnom Penh Court of First Instance 

The International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers’ Associations (IUF) and the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), collectively representing over 200 million workers around the world, strongly condemn the guilty verdicts and prison sentences for 9 IUF affiliate LRSU leaders including President Chhim Sithar. We call on NagaCorp to use its considerable influence to persuade the Government of Cambodia to change course immediately, to release Sister Sithar and to drop all charges against her and the other LRSU leaders. We further call on NagaCorp to reinstate the terminated workers and members of LRSU and to negotiate in good faith with the union. 

Nine members of the Labor Rights Supported Union of Khmer Employees of Nagaworld (LRSU), including LRSU President Chhim Sithar were convicted today for incitement to commit a felony under Articles 494 and 495 of the Cambodian Criminal Code after engaging in a peaceful strike at NagaWorld casino in Phnom Penh. 5 were given 1.5 year prison sentences, 3 were given 1 year suspended sentences, and LRSU President Chhim Sithar was given the maximum sentence of 2 years. Local NGO’s have documented the regular use of these articles to charge and jail activists. The strike was in response to union-busting at NagaWorld casino where in April 2021, the company used the economic impacts of COVID-19 as an excuse to terminate 1,329 workers. 1,100 of these were LRSU members and activists, including the union’s entire leadership. The strike followed all legal procedures and came after numerous attempts to negotiate in good faith with the company were rebuffed. 

From December 31, 2021 to the end of the first week of January 2022, 29 striking workers were arrested. Nine were charged with incitement to commit a felony. One of the nine was released on bail, while the other eight remained in detention. The other workers were released on bail in March 2022. Since February 2022, Cambodian authorities have become more hostile and violent toward the strikers, attacking and harassing them, causing injuries such as black eyes, bloody noses, broken bones, and, in one case, a miscarriage. On April 3, LRSU president Chhim Sithar and other LRSU leaders received a death threat, left as a text on the phone of the brother of one of the representatives. LRSU alerted the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and other embassies about the threat. On November 26, 2022, LRSU president Chhim Sithar was arrested and jailed at the Phnom Penh airport upon returning from the ITUC Congress in Melbourne, Australia. Authorities claimed she had breached her bail conditions by traveling abroad. She had, however, never been shown her bail conditions, and had previously traveled to Thailand without incident. 

In March 2022, the IUF filed a complaint with the International Labour Organisation’s Committee on Freedom of Association for violations of ILO Conventions 87 and 98. As a result, the ILO has issued a formal decision urging the Government of Cambodia to ensure that NagaCorp respect labour and trade union rights. In April 2023, the IUF also filed OECD complaints against NagaCorp’s key bondholders for their failure to conduct due diligence under the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises. The IUF is launching a new campaign website about the struggle at NagaWorld today which gives the public a detailed history of this struggle and is available in English, Khmer and Chinese. 

Global Labor JusticeInternational Labor Rights Forum stands in solidarity with the unions and workers fighting for justice at Starbucks.
AFL-CIO, SEIU, Workers United Slam Starbucks for ‘Bluewashing’ in Bombshell ILO Complaint Accusing Coffee Giant of Exploiting Weaknesses in US Labor Law to Squash Worker Organizing

Thursday, May 11, 2023

Despite company’s claims, ‘anti-union crusade’ runs afoul of UN-backed international labor standards to protect workers

ILO filing comes as Starbucks investors support third-party audit of company’s labor practices, U.S. Congress cracks down on its union busting 

GENEVA — Starbucks has repeatedly defended its unprecedented, unpopular anti-union campaign by claiming it commits to the International Labor Organization’s (ILO) “Core Labor Standards,” including principles of freedom of association. A new blockbuster complaint filed Thursday with the ILO – a United Nations agency whose mandate is to promote decent work for all by setting international labor standards – squashes the coffee giant’s claims as a hypocritical fiction.

Jointly filed by the American Federal of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), Service Employees International Union (SEIU), and Workers United (an affiliate of SEIU), the 36-page complaint outlines in great detail how Starbucks is exploiting weaknesses in U.S. labor law in an effort to squash workers’ organizing efforts and deny them a seat at the bargaining table. At the same time, the company is engaging in “bluewashing” in a failed attempt to create a public appearance of social responsibility by association with the United Nations (and its blue flag) without actually engaging in socially responsible conduct.

“This complaint shows clearly that Starbucks does not abide by any kind of internationally recognized labor standards. Starbucks can no longer hide behind the ILO to justify its unpopular – and illegal – anti-union campaign. Starbucks’ bluewashing stops here,” said Mary Kay Henry, international president of SEIU. “The complaint also shows how US labor law fails to protect workers against greedy corporations. It’s time to rewrite the rules to create a new economy where everyone can thrive.”

The complaint highlights the ways in which U.S. law and practice fail to comport with ILO standards and how Starbucks continues to exploit those shortcomings to attack workers’ organizing and bargaining rights.

“U.S labor law and its enforcement steps are woefully inadequate to deal with a big, powerful employer determined to crush union organizing among its employees by interfering with their freedom of association in violation of ILO standards,” the complaint reads. “Starbucks’ anti-union crusade makes it an outlier even among American employers who are well known for their harsh antipathy toward trade unions. U.S. labor law does not provide the [National Labor Relations Board] with the tools needed to halt it.”

The complaint details how since January 2021, workers in more than 280 Starbucks stores have voted in favor of union representation. None have achieved a collective agreement or are even close to achieving it. In the course of the organizing movement, Starbucks has fired nearly 200 union activists and made multiple threats of reprisal against workers if they vote in favor of union representation, according to the complaint.

The unions ask the ILO to convene an on-the-spot “mission,” meeting with Starbucks workers and their union, Starbucks management, U.S. government officials, and other relevant actors to investigate Starbucks’ anti-worker conduct. If the Biden administration invites such a mission, it would be the first time in history that the UN agency would conduct a mission in the United States, and a clear indication that Starbucks’ anti-union conduct falls outside accepted international norms.

“The freedom to stand together with co-workers to have a union on the job is internationally recognized as a fundamental human right,” said AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler. “This complaint underscores the vital importance of holding corporations like Starbucks accountable for undercutting the freedom of association and harming workers who are simply organizing for basic fairness and a better life for their families.”

Falsely Claiming the UN Flag 

Starbucks has repeatedly invoked international labor standards to defend its interference with workers’ freedom of association. The company has embraced ILO standards in public statements and, most recently, in a statement to Starbucks shareholders opposing a proposal for an independent third-party report on the company’s response to employees’ organizing efforts. In the statement, the company tries to explain away its anti-union campaign by arguing the ILO Committee on Freedom of Association “confirmed that employers’ enjoy” a right to freedom of expression.

“The Committee has not confirmed that employers enjoy an international right to wage vitriolic campaigns of fear and intimidation against workers’ organizing efforts in the name of freedom of expression,” the complaint reads. “Starbucks is clearly trying to wrap itself in the mantle of the ILO and the Committee on Freedom of Association to justify its anti-union campaign conduct.”

The complaint cites three main shortcomings of US labor law that Starbucks is exploiting:

  • The National Labor Relations Act violates ILO standards on its face by allowing employers to interfere with workers’ freedom of association, including through tactics like captive-audience meetings.
  • Even where key elements of U.S. law align with ILO standards on their face, the absence of effective, timely, and dissuasive remedies available to the National Labor Relations Board violates principles of freedom of association by allowing Starbucks to violate workers’ organizing and bargaining rights with virtual impunity.
  • The lack of “effective and expeditious procedures” and “rapid appeal procedures” required by ILO standards allows Starbucks to continue interfering with workers’ freedom of association and to use excessive delays to frustrate organizing and bargaining rights.

“This complaint shows, in stark detail, how Starbucks has taken advantage of those aspects of US labor law that fail to comply with international standards on freedom of association to deny its workers the right to join a union, contrary to the company’s assertions,” said Deborah Greenfield, former ILO deputy director-general for policy. “Until the US amends its laws, the cards are stacked against workers in all sectors of our economy who try to exercise their right to freedom of association, despite the vigorous enforcement efforts of the National Labor Relations Board.”

The complaint highlights stunning examples of failures of US law and case studies of how Starbucks has exploited the loopholes to silence workers. It outlines how Starbucks is systematically contesting election results and appealing administrative law judges’ decisions, thus interfering with workers’ freedom of association. It outlines a reality in which an undeterred Starbucks continues to wage its unprecedented anti-union campaign:

  • Workers begin to organize, and Starbucks interferes with workers’ organizing rights.
  • Workers and unions seek representation elections and file unfair labor practice charges with the NLRB, but Starbucks’ interference continues apace.
  • [NLRB] Regional directors find merit in charges, and Starbucks’ interference continues apace.
  • Administrative law judges find Starbucks guilty of unlawful interference, and Starbucks’ interference continues apace.
  • Starbucks challenges, appeals, loses appeals, re-appeals, and its interference continues apace.

“If the U.S. labor law system functioned in reasonable compliance with ILO standards, NLRB actions and decisions in early cases would serve to deter future violations,” the complaint reads. “But the opposite has happened here. The NLRB and ALJs, and courts have acted, but Starbucks is unrelenting in its nationwide campaign to destroy workers’ organizing. Instead of slowing and halting its violations, Starbucks is accelerating them.”

“Unscrupulous employers like Starbucks are weaponizing labor laws. Starbucks is appealing and delaying in an attempt to circumvent our US laws and thwart organizing and bargaining rights,” said Lynne Fox, international president of Workers United. “We all know what’s going on here. Starbucks is playing against the clock, and its legal strategy is to delay justice until employees become disillusioned with the process and give up the right to organize and bargain. Starbucks is playing with people’s lives and livelihoods. Starbucks has invoked ILO standards to defend its behavior, and this complaint will bring an end to that.”

Extra Shot of Trouble for Starbucks 

Since former Howard Schultz stepped down as Starbucks CEO, the coffee giant has come under pressure to turn the page from Schultz’ union-busting tactics and give workers a true seat at the table rather than the metaphorical empty chair they leave for workers at shareholder meetings.

In April, Starbucks shareholders overwhelmingly voted in favor of a third-party audit of the company’s labor practices, demonstrating a clear desire among investors for the coffee giant to reset its approach to the baristas’ historic union organizing effort. Immediately after the vote, Starbucks partners and community allies turned up the heat on the Starbucks Board of Directors in a series of national actions, demanding they guide the company in a new direction under CEO Laxman Narasimhan and respect the right of workers to organize and collectively bargain for a strong contract without fear of retaliation.

Since December 2021, more than 7,500 Starbucks workers have organized nearly 300 stores, demanding Starbucks respect workers’ fundamental right to organize and bargain a fair contract with their workers.

In this same time period, regional offices of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) have issued more than 70 official complaints against Starbucks, prosecuting the company for over 1,300 specific alleged violations of federal labor law, including accusations that former CEO Howard Schultz personally threatened a worker who expressed support for organizing. To date, NLRB Administrative Law Judges have issued nine decisions, eight of which collectively found that the company has committed 130 violations, including illegal monitoring and firing organizerscalling the police on workers, and outright closing a store that recently attempted to organize.

In March, the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions (HELP) heard testimony from baristas Maggie Carter and Jaysin Saxton about the illegal retaliation they faced for organizing with Starbucks Workers United and grilled former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz about his role in leading one of the most vicious union-busting campaigns in U.S. history. Schultz only agreed to testify under threat of subpoena. Ahead of the hearing, U.S. Senator Cory Booker and Robert Menendez (D-NJ) sent a letter to Schultz lambasting the company’s “blatant anti-union behavior” and calling on him to bargain in good faith with his workers.

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Contact:

Phoebe Rogers, phoebe.rogers@berlinrosen.com, 914-343-9063

Shannon Garth Rhodes, shannon.garth-rhodes@seiu.org, 832-545-1851

GLJ-ILRF Condemns and Mourns the Murder of Alex Dolorosa, Call Center Organizer with BIEN in the Philippines and Advocate for LGBTQ+ Workers

April 27, 2023

WASHINGTON DC: We at Global Labor JusticeInternational Labor Rights Forum express our outrage and deep sadness about the brutal murder of labor rights defender Alex Dolorosa, a call center organizer with the BPO Industry Employee Network (BIEN) in the Philippines and an advocate for LGBTQ+ workers.  Alex was a visionary organizer, colleague, and friend of GLJ-ILRF in building an inclusive labor movement that could deliver dignity and justice for workers in the Philippines and across borders.

Alex was a union organizer and paralegal with BIEN in Bacolod City, Philippines, which has worked closely with Communications Workers of America (CWA) and UNI Global Union on organizing and campaigns to support internationally recognized labor rights for call center workers on international value chains of U.S. and European multinational companies. Alex was also a dedicated campaigner for the rights of LGBTQ+ people in the industry with the BPO Employees Gay, Lesbian, and Allies for Genuine Acceptance and Democracy (BEGLAD).

After working in call centers and volunteering with BIEN since 2016, Alex became a full-time employee, organizer, and paralegal officer of BIEN. Because of their labor movement efforts, he and other BIEN leaders and staff and others in the Philippine labor movement faced threats and surveillance on multiple occasions.  In response to these threats, Alex took precautions – including moving houses in an attempt to stay safe.  But, like his union siblings, he refused to allow the threats to keep him from his commitments to organize for rights and dignity for call center workers.

On Monday morning, Alex was found dead behind a chicken coop, beaten and stabbed 31 times.

We share our deepest condolences with Alex’s family, friends, and union.  We will honor Alex’s memory by continuing to stand with BIEN and the trade union movement in the Philippines in the struggle for internationally recognized labor rights and human rights.

In the wake of this tragedy, we are disappointed that the Biden Administration will welcome Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. for a White House visit on May 1, celebrated as International Workers’ Day around the world.

We renew our call for the Biden administration to condition U.S.-Philippine engagement, including on trade benefits, on rapid progress in the protection of labor and human rights defenders, and expansion of workers’ meaningful access to internationally recognized fundamental labor rights, including by:

  • Urging the Philippine government to implement the recommendations of the ILO Tripartite High-Level Mission, including an Executive Order establishing a Presidential Commission that includes independent worker representatives;
  • Urging and monitoring progress of a serious, impartial, and independent investigation of the killings of Alex Dolorosa, Manny Asuncion, and all other labor rights defenders.  The Philippine labor movement has called for a Truth Commission with worker representation empowered to provide justice and compensation to those attacked for advancing workers’ rights.
  • Urging the immediate abolition of the Philippine National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC), the principal source of official red-tagging, as demanded by the Philippine labor movement in their joint report to the ILO High-Level Tripartite Mission.

GLJ-ILRF has long supported labor rights defenders in the Philippines through successive waves of violent repression. We and our allies filed petitions seeking the withdrawal of trade benefits from the Philippines in 1995, in 2007, and, with unions from across the U.S. and the Philippines, again in 2021.  We updated the 2021 petition with additional incidents from 2022, and in 2023, we wrote to Secretary Raimondo and Ambassador Tai, again urging action as part of the Biden Administration’s worker-centered trade and foreign policy agenda.  Each time, we highlighted the persistence of state-sponsored anti-labor violence, arbitrary arrests, and red-tagging targeting worker-activists, along with the impunity that shelters perpetrators.  We urged the International Labor Organization, the Philippine government, and U.S. authorities to protect internationally recognized labor rights, demand an end to red-tagging that generates violence and false arrests, and stop the repression of workers across the Philippines.

Our 2021 GSP petition, raising concerns about escalating violence against trade unionists in the Philippines and urging action by the Biden Administration, was elevated by the labor movements of the United States and the Philippines, with signatories such as:

Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU)
American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO)
American Federation of Teachers (AFT)
American Postal Workers Union (APWU)
Communications Workers of America (CWA)
International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT)
Service Employees International Union (SEIU)
International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement
Workers of America (UAW)
United Steel, Paper and Forestry, Rubber, Manufacturing, Energy, Allied Industrial and Service Workers International Union (USW)
United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America (UE)
Global Labor Justice-International Labor Rights Forum (GLJ-ILRF)
BPO Industry Employees’ Network (BIEN) (Philippines)
Council of Global Unions – Pilipinas (CGUP) (Philippines)
Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) (Philippines)
National Congress of Unions in the Sugar Industry in the Philippines (NACUSIP) (Philippines)
National Union of Bank Employees (NUBE) (Philippines)
Nagkaisa Labor Coalition (NLC) (Philippines)
Sentro ng mga Nagkakaisa at Progresibong Manggagawa (SENTRO) (Philippines)
Partido Manggagawa (PM) (Philippines)
Philippine Airlines Employees Association (PALEA) (Philippines)
Public Services Labor Independent Confederation (PSLINK) (Philippines)
Unified Filipino Service Workers (UFSW) (Philippines)

For more statements of solidarity, please see below:

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Global Labor Justice International Labor Rights Forum (GLJ – ILRF) is a non-governmental organization that works transnationally to advance policies and laws that protect decent work; to strengthen freedom of association and workers’ ability to advocate for their rights; and to hold corporations accountable for labor rights violations in their supply chains.