- About Us
- Rapid Response Network
- Young Adults
- Get Involved
- Memory & Resistance Coalition
You are here
Exploited Labor: News & Updates
January 8, 2020
Alternative Trade Organizations (such as Equal Exchange) have foundational influence in the broader fair trade movement but have become isolated from even their most natural allies including coops, citizen movements, community economic organizations, unions, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). The monthly Food Action Forum meetings allow all of us to connect, build community, and have space to push our campaigns forward and engage in actions out in our local communities. In today’s overwhelmingly digital world we want to find ways to create meaningful and deep connections with this community, connections that are two-way, connections that are active, not passive. Join us as we work together to build a democratic brand that connects small farmers in the Global South to consumers in the Global North.
January 5, 2020
The spaghetti dinner is an IRTF staple and, this year, Quin and Paul are looking to add a bit of intrigue by expanding the evening to include TRIVIA—every brainiac's favorite time to show off how very much stuff they have crammed into their noggins!
December 7, 2019
With inequality skyrocketing, health care and student debt mounting, climate change roiling the planet, civil and human rights under assault, and wages and benefits evaporating, a majority in the U.S. are now calling for a major new independent political party. Other topics for deliberation: (1) Medicare for All; (2) endless regime change wars and decimating sanctions vs. international working class solidarity; and (3) forced migration and deportation. Event is free. Donations accepted. See https://www.facebook.com/events/486321765290865/
November 24, 2019 to December 4, 2019
Please support IRTF's full-time volunteer Paul Schmitt, who will be taking part in this important labor rights delegation. The Alliance for Global Justice (AfGJ) and United States Labor Against the War (USLAW) are leading a joint delegation to Colombia from November 24 – December 4, 2019, timed to coincide with the third anniversary of Colombia’s peace accord that ended more than five decades of war between the government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia – People’s Army (FARC-EP). To contribute toward Paul Schmitt's delegation costs, please click on the DONATE button at the top of the IRTF website. Thank you.
RRN Case Update
August 22, 2019
RRN case summaries at a glance
On behalf of our 190 Rapid Response Network members, IRTF volunteers write and send six letters each month to government officials in southern Mexico, Colombia, and Central America (with copies to officials in the US). Who is being targeted? indigenous and Afro-descendant leaders, labor organizers, LGBTI rights defenders, women’s rights defenders, journalists, environmental defenders, and others. By signing our names to these crucial letters, human rights crimes are brought to light, perpetrators are brought to justice and lives are spared. Our solidarity is more important than ever. Together, our voices do make a difference.
August 12, 2019
Shopping to meet the locavore ethos ("eat local") is never simple, but taking a follow-the-money approach enables shoppers to support products that share their values. And this is where bananas come in. Buying Equal Exchange bananas from a local food co-op not only keeps money cycling through your community, but also ensures that communities of farmers in Ecuador and Peru are receiving a fair price for their products, which then keeps money flowing through their communities, as well. In a way, eating fair trade bananas gives you a local eater two-for-one, and you support both your community and the cooperative community of farmers that grew the fruit. It may not have been grown physically close to your co-op, but it creates an interconnected network of solidarity between communities.
“Deeply inspiring and profoundly important”: Sweeping new history of US labor debuts to stellar reviews…
August 12, 2019
In Beaten Down, Worked Up, former New York Times labor correspondent Steven Greenhouse devotes an entire chapter to the history of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW), from the early strikes in the 1990s to the Campaign for Fair Food today, including a detailed look at the ground-breaking success of the Fair Food Program!
August 7, 2019
At least five union activists were murdered in Guatemala in 2018, and union leaders and members in Guatemala and Honduras suffered dozens of incidents over the past year for standing up for worker rights, including restriction of union rights, intimidation, harassment, illegal detention, death threats and attempted murder, according to two new reports.
April 24, 2019
murder of trade unionist and rural peasant rights defender, Nixon Willington Valencia in San Miguel, in Putamayo Department.
RRN Case Update
March 7, 2019
Guatemala- case summaries 2018
Here is a summary of the 21 urgent action cases that the IRTF Rapid Response team responded to in 2018. We saw a significant increase in two areas of human rights violations: assassinations and criminalization of protest. Many of these occurred where communities are organizing resistance to protect their ancestral lands, waterways, and cultures against the enormous threats they are facing from mega-projects: extractive industries, industrial agriculture, hydro-electric dams, and other “development” projects. Police and military do the bidding of private companies—breaking up peaceful protest, beating demonstrators, and jailing leaders. This is a disturbing trend that threatens their ability to protect the environment and their democratic rights to peaceful assembly and freedom of speech. For more information on any of these cases, please contact email@example.com .