Harmful Practice: Worker Abuse

Blood, Sweat, and Fear: Workers’ Rights in U.S. Meat and Poultry Plants

Report: “Workers in American beef, pork, and poultry slaughtering and processing plants perform dangerous jobs in difficult conditions. Dispatching the nonstop tide of animals and birds arriving on plant kill floors and live hang areas is itself hazardous and exhausting labor. After slaughter, the carcasses hurl along evisceration and disassembly lines as workers hurriedly saw and cut them at unprecedented volume and pace…Unfortunately, as this report shows, the United States is failing on all these counts. Health and safety laws and regulations fail to address critical hazards in the meat and poultry industry. Laws and agencies that are supposed to protect workers’ freedom of association are instead manipulated by employers to frustrate worker organizing. Federal laws and policies on immigrant workers are a mass of contradictions and incentives to violate their rights. In sum, the United States is failing to meet its obligations under international human rights standards to protect the human rights of meat and poultry industry workers.”

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Amnesty International

“Amnesty International is a global movement of more than 7 million people in over 150 countries and territories who campaign to end abuses of human rights.”

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2005 List: the 14 Worst Corporate Evildoers

“Corporations carry out some of the most horrific human rights abuses of modern times, but it is increasingly difficult to hold them to account. Economic globalization and the rise of transnational corporate power have created a favorable climate for corporate human rights abusers, which are governed principally by the codes of supply and demand and show genuine loyalty only to their stockholders. Several of the companies below are being sued under the Alien Tort Claims Act, a law that allows citizens of any nationality to sue in US federal courts for violations of international rights or treaties. When corporations act like criminals, we have the right and the power to stop them, holding leaders and multinational corporations alike to the accords they have signed. Around the world–in Venezuela, Argentina, India, and right here in the United States–citizens are stepping up to create democracy and hold corporations accountable to international law.”

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War Resisters International

“War Resisters’ International (WRI) works for a world without war. WRI is primarily a global pacifist and antimilitarist network of organisations, groups and individuals with over 90 affiliated groups in 40 countries.”

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Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price

“Wal-Mart has become one of America’s most successful retail chains by offering everyday goods at low prices for working families. But just how is Wal-Mart able to charge less than many of their rivals, and what has their success done for their employees? Documentary filmmaker Robert Greenwald takes a look inside the discount retailer’s empire in Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price, and discovers a company short on scruples and long on shabby treatment of the people who work for them.”

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The Understory

The blog of Rainforest Action Network. “Mission: Rainforest Action Network preserves forests, protects the climate and upholds human rights by challenging corporate power and systemic injustice through frontline partnerships and strategic campaigns. Vision: RAN works toward a world where the rights and dignity of all communities are respected and where healthy forests, a stable climate and wild biodiversity are protected and celebrated.”

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The Strategy Center

” The strategy center is a think tank/act tank for regional, national and international movement building, founded in 1989 and based in the 10 million-person world city of Los Angeles. Our campaigns, projects, and publications are rooted in working class communities of color, and address the totality of urban life with a particular focus on civil rights, environmental justice, public health, global warming, and the criminal legal system. We build consciousness, leadership, and organization among those who face discrimination and societal attack–people of color, women, immigrants, workers, LGBT people, youth, all of whom comprise our membership. Linking mass struggles to the need for radical, structural change, we develop campaigns and demands that help build a revitalized world united front that can stop the rising tides of war, racism and imperialism, the ecological crisis and the growing police state. Our work often challenges both major political parties and takes on the organized Right. We fight to win.”

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The Palestine Chronicle

“A non-profit organization whose mission is to educate the general public by providing a forum that strives to highlight issues of relevance to human rights, national struggles, freedom and democracy in the form of daily news, commentary, features, book reviews, photos, art, and more.”

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Statewatch

“Statewatch is a non-profit-making voluntary group founded in 1991 to monitor the development of the EU state and civil liberties. It is comprised of lawyers, academics, journalists, researchers and community activists. Its European network of contributors is drawn from 18 countries. Statewatch encourages the publication of investigative journalism and critical research in Europe the fields of the state, justice and home affairs, civil liberties, accountability and openness. One of Statewatch’s primary purposes is to provide a service for civil society to encourage informed discussion and debate – through the provision of news, features and analyses backed up by full-text documentation so that people can access for themselves primary sources and come to their own conclusions. Statewatch is the research and education arm of a UK registered charity and is funded by grant-making trusts and donations from individuals.”

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Sacred Economics

“Sacred Economics traces the history of money from ancient gift economies to modern capitalism, revealing how the money system has contributed to alienation, competition, and scarcity, destroyed community, and necessitated endless growth. “

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Realizing Hope: Life Beyond Capitalism (Critique Influence Change)

Book: “Someone once said that it is easier to imagine the end of the world than to imagine the end of capitalism. Michael Albert would disagree. Realizing Hope offers a speculative vision of a future beyond capitalism – an alternative to the exploitation of human labour, the unchecked destruction of the earth, and the oppression of all for the benefit of the few. Participatory economics – parecon for short – is Albert’s concrete proposal for a classless economy, developed from anarchist principles first introduced by Kropotkin, Bakunin, Pannekoek and others. In this classic text, Albert takes the insights and hopes of parecon and enlarges them to address all key aspects of social life and society – gender, culture, politics, science, technology, journalism, ecology, and others. Realizing Hope provides vision to help us all together conceive a world that might be just over the horizon, a world we can begin building today.”

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Rainforest Action Network (RAN)

“MISSION: Rainforest Action Network preserves forests, protects the climate and upholds human rights by challenging corporate power and systemic injustice through frontline partnerships and strategic campaigns. VISION: RAN works toward a world where the rights and dignity of all communities are respected and where healthy forests, a stable climate and wild biodiversity are protected and celebrated.”

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POGO

The Project On Government Oversight (POGO) is a nonpartisan independent watchdog that investigates and exposes waste, corruption, abuse of power, and when the government fails to serve the public or silences those who report wrongdoing.

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Nonviolence International

“Nonviolence International researches and promotes nonviolent action and seeks to reduce the use of violence worldwide.  We believe that every culture and religion can employ appropriate nonviolent methods for positive social change and international peace.”

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Nike’s Bad Air

“…It was precisely the response Nike wanted and sales of Nike products have surged over the last week. With social justice icon Kaepernick fronting the brand, no one will be thinking about Nike’s wretched labor practices inside its sweatshops in Honduras, Indonesia and Vietnam. “

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Mighty Earth – In The News

Relevant news articles. “Mighty Earth is a global campaign organization that works to protect tropical forests, oceans, and the climate. We aspire to be the most effective environmental organization in the world. “

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Human Rights Watch

“Human Rights Watch investigates and reports on abuses happening in all corners of the world. We are roughly 450 people of 70-plus nationalities who are country experts, lawyers, journalists, and others who work to protect the most at risk, from vulnerable minorities and civilians in wartime, to refugees and children in need. We direct our advocacy towards governments, armed groups and businesses, pushing them to change or enforce their laws, policies and practices. To ensure our independence, we refuse government funding and corporate ties. We partner with organizations large and small across the globe to protect embattled activists and to help hold abusers to account and bring justice to victims.”

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Howard Zinn: You Can’t Be Neutral On a Moving Train (2004)

“In these turbulent times, Howard Zinn is inspiring a new generation. This acclaimed film looks at the amazing life of the renowned historian, activist and author. Following his early days as a shipyard labor organizer and bombardier in World War II, Zinn became an academic rebel and leader of civil disobedience in a time of institutionalized racism and war. His influential writings shine light on and bring voice to factory workers, immigrant laborers, African Americans, Native Americans and the working poor. Featuring rare archival materials and interviews with Zinn and colleagues such as Noam Chomsky, You Can’t Be Neutral captures the essence of this extraordinary man who has been a catalyst for progressive change for more than 60 years.”

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Honor the Earth

“Honor the Earth uses indigenous wisdom, music, art, and the media to raise awareness and support for Indigenous Environmental Issues.  We leverage this awareness and support to develop financial and political capital for Indigenous struggles for land and life.”

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Global Witness

“Global Witness campaigns to end environmental and human rights abuses driven by the exploitation of natural resources and corruption in the global political and economic system.”

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FoodPrint

“Whether it’s a salad, a hamburger or your morning egg sandwich, your meal has an impact on the environment and on the welfare of animals, food/farm workers and on public health. Your “foodprint” is the result of everything it takes to get your food from the farm to your plate. Many of those processes are invisible to consumers. Industrial food production — including animal products like beef, pork, chicken and eggs and also crops — takes a tremendous toll on our soil, air and water, as well as on the workers and the surrounding communities.”

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Fair Food Program

“The Coalition of Immokalee Workers’ (CIW) Fair Food Program is a unique partnership among farmers, farmworkers, and retail food companies that ensures humane wages and working conditions for the workers who pick fruits and vegetables on participating farms. It harnesses the power of consumer demand to give farmworkers a voice in the decisions that affect their lives, and to eliminate the longstanding abuses that have plagued agriculture for generations.”

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Cultural Survival

“CULTURAL SURVIVAL works toward a future that RESPECTS AND HONORS Indigenous Peoples’ inherent rights and dynamic cultures, deeply and richly interwoven in LANDS, LANGUAGES, SPIRITUAL TRADITIONS, and artistic expression, rooted in self-determination and self-governance.”

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