13 Dec 2013

Sex Workers in France Resist Attacks on Their Liberty

Originally published at In These Times These days, French political culture appears to be retreating from its stereotypical liberalism on one of its best-known “vice” industries: the sex trade. Controversial new legislation in the country would criminalize paid sex—and sex workers see the proposed law as an assault on their

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06 Dec 2013

‘From Bean to Cup,’ Starbucks Labor Action Heats Up

Originally posted at In These Times The Starbucks cup, with its iconic green mermaid logo and smart cardboard sleeve, seems to embody the essence of the urbane yuppie lifestyle. But the carefully constructed cool of the coffee mega-brand belies some serious anger percolating beneath the surface of Starbucks’ supply chain.

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04 Dec 2013

A New Day, A New Danger: Temporary Workers Face Safety Hazards at Work

Originally published at In These Times Rosa Ramirez, a 49-year-old Mexican immigrant and mother in Illinois, knew something was odd about the plastics factory where her temporary-labor agency had sent her. “From the minute one walks into that factory, one is hit by this incredible odor of [chemical] thinner …

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22 Nov 2013

Qatar’s World Cup Spectacle Brought to You by Slavery

Originally published at In These Times The big controversies surrounding Qatar as the site of the 2022 World Cup have been the shady bidding process and fears that the desert heat will ruin the soccer games. But in the past few days, the spotlight has finally begun to move to longstanding concerns

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17 Nov 2013

From U.S. to Philippines, Nurses Mobilize in Typhoon Haiyan’s Wake

Originally published at In These Times When Typhoon Haiyan made landfall in the Philippines a week ago, the destruction was swift, total and unsparing—showing the disproportionate impact of disasters on poverty-stricken communities of the Global South. The international aid response is still struggling to grapple with the scale of the

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15 Nov 2013

How Sandy Clean-Up Brought Day Laborers Out of the Shadows

Originally published at In These Times When Sandy hit last October, the Northeast shoreline seemed to freeze: people were stranded in flooded homes, businesses shuttered, downtown Manhattan’s lights went eerily dark. But the paralysis wasn’t total—the area began buzzing immediately with invisible workers. The day after Sandy was just another day of

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08 Nov 2013

Exploitation Remains the Name of the Game at Dell’s Chinese Factories

Originally published at In These Times There is nothing newsworthy in the latest investigative report on working conditions in Chinese electronics factories—just the same old story, really: Once again, there’s evidence of systematic exploitation of workers, suppression of labor organizing, poor living conditions and chronic economic insecurity for young workers. What has

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31 Oct 2013

A Halloween Nightmare in Juárez

Originally published at In These Times On October 24 in Ciudad Juárez, the Dulces Blueberry maquiladora, a low-wage manufacturing plant that specializes in American Halloween candy, turned into a real-life house of horrors when an industrial explosion killed four workers, injured several dozens more and showered the area with a cloud of

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30 Oct 2013

Checkpoint: Sovereignty, Borders and Justice

Originally published at CultureStrike Damiana Cavanha, a member of the indigenous Guarani-Kaiowà people in rural Brazil, has almost nothing left to lose. She’s seen her community come under violent attack as a sugar plantation consumes her land. Several family members, including her husband and three children, have perished in their precarious

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25 Oct 2013

Minimum-Wage Hike Won’t Appease Bangladeshi Workers

Originally published at In These Times Earlier this month, a group of workers at the Tuba Group garment factory in Bangladesh locked owner Delwar Hossain in his office and demanded that he pay the bonuses he’d promised them for the Eid al-Adha holiday, according to Reuters. Such extreme interventions are rare in Bangladesh, where the

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