Labor Rights Now! A human rights group fighting for imprisoned worker activists worldwide.
Home About Us Contact Us History Victories Allies Resources Take Action En Espanol In Chinese
    • China
          Olympics 2008
    • Burma
    • Colombia
    • Zimbabwe

China Prisoners
    • Updated List

Recent Protests
    • Bangladesh
    • Burma
    • Burundi
    • Cambodia
    • Chile
    • China
    • Ethiopia
    • Iran
    • Indonesia
    • Mexico
    • Nepal
    • Nigeria
    • South Africa
    • South Korea
    • Zimbabwe

Support the campaign to win the release of imprisoned union leaders in Burma. Labor Rights Now has produced this poster demanding the military regime release Myo Aung Thant.
Order your copy today.
China Urged To Free Yao Fuxin as Olympics Near

    Labor Rights Now urged China to free Yao Fuxin, who has been jailed since 2002, or risk worldwide criticism of its violations of worker rights in the run-up to this summer's Olympic games in Beijing.

    "China deserves a gold medal for labor repression," said Labor Rights Now President Don Stillman. "China's leaders have reneged on their promise to the world that they would improve their abysmal human rights record in order to win the right to host the Olympics."     Full article

LRN Demands Release of Burmese Unionists

    Burma's military regime—months after the brutal crackdown against monks and workers seeking democracy—continues to imprison Myo Aung Thant, a prominent Burmese union leader.

    "We strongly urge Burma to free Myo Aung Thant, who has been tortured and held in a tiny cell with no bed," Labor Rights Now President Don Stillman said. Arrested in June 1997, Myo Aung Thant got a 20-year prison sentence because of his union activity for the Federation of Trade Unions-Burma (FTUB).     Full article

Two Unionists Released in Iran; Salehi Still Jailed

    Labor Rights Now welcomed the release of two trade union leaders in Iran, but called upon the government there to release Mahmoud Salehi, the former president of the Saqez Bakers' Union, who remains jailed in Sanandaj under extremely harsh conditions.

    Ebrahim Madadi, vice president of the Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company, and Reza Dehghan, a leader of the Union of Painters, were released on December 16, 2007. Madadi had been arrested August 9 and Dehghan on November 18.     Full article

Three More Union Activists Murdered in Colombia

    Labor Rights Now condemned the latest murders of labor leaders in Colombia and demanded that the Uribe government there move more vigorously to investigate and prosecute those responsible for killing unionists there.

    "What possible reason could there be for the U.S. Congress to approve the pending free trade deal with Colombia when worker activists continue to be gunned down with impunity?" Labor Rights Now President Don Stillman asked.     Full article

Ethiopia Jails, Tortures Teachers' Union Leaders

    Labor Rights Now called again for the release of Meqcha Mengistu, a leader of the Ethiopian Teachers' Association (ETA) in Ethiopia.

    "We strongly urge the government of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia to immediately and unconditionally release Meqcha Mengistu, who was jailed in May 2007 as part of an effort to intimidate and harass the ETA teachers' union," said Don Stillman, president of Labor Rights Now.     Full article

Chilean Workers Arrested In Protest Over Economy

    Protesting the growing economic inequality in Chile, thousands of workers demonstrated in late August and were met with a harsh crackdown by the government of Michelle Bachelet.

    "We are appalled at the Chilean authorities who met a peaceful protest with a serious and violent response," Labor Rights Now President Don Stillman said on August 30. "The Bachelet government must release immediately and unconditionally the 260 demonstrators who have been arrested."     Full article

LRN Urges Zimbabwe To Dismiss Charges Against Editor of Labor Federation Magazine

    Labor Rights Now urged authorities in Zimbabwe to dismiss all charges against the editor of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) magazine. Bright Chibvuri, who edits "The Worker," has been charged with practicing journalism without a license.

    His trial opened in Plumtree, Zimbabwe but was adjourned immediately after Trial Magistrate Mark Dzira said he did not feel well. Many magistrates in Zimbabwe have been on strike over poor salaries and working conditions.     Full article

Mexico Blasted for Miners' Union Takeover

    Labor Rights Now endorsed a campaign by the International Metalworkers Federation (IMF) seeking an end to the Mexican government's interference in union affairs.

    The Mexican government in 2006 removed the democratically elected leader of the miners' union after he criticized that government following a mine disaster in Pasta de Conchos that killed 65 miners.

    Mexico ousted Napoleon Gomez Urrutia as general secretary of the National Miners' and Metalworkers' union (SNTMMSRM) and installed someone who was not a member of the union. The government also seized all assets of the union.     Full article

LRN Backs Korean Workers ILO Complaint

    Labor Rights Now strongly backed a complaint to the International Labor Organization detailing worker rights violations in South Korea. The Korean government has criminalized unions by accusing irregular workers seeking labor representation of "obstruction of business." This has led to the jailing of union leaders.

    The Korean Metalworkers' Federation filed the ILO complaint along with the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions and the International Metalworkers Federation (IMF). The Korean government's failure to protect and enforce worker rights is documented in the charge, including rights' violations occurring at Hyundai Motors plants in Ulsan, Asan, and Jeonju, as well as at Hynix/Magnachip, Kiryung Electronics, and KM&I.

    "Korean workers years ago did battle with the military government over worker rights abuses and, sadly, subsequent governments don't seem to understand that the repression of workers and unions has no place in a democracy," said Labor Rights Now President Don Stillman.     Full article

LRN Helps Free Mexican Labor Rights Activist

    Martin Barrios Hernandez, one of Mexico's leading labor rights activists, won release in January 2006 after a brief but intense campaign by Labor Rights Now and human rights groups. Barrios had been held in state prison after a maquiladora factory owner involved in a workplace dispute claimed blackmail.

    Barrios is president of the Mexican Human and Labor Rights Commission in Puebla's Tehacan Valley. He had assisted workers in a dispute at the factory of the owner who made the charges.     Full article

Indonesia Urged To Free Jailed Union Leaders

    Labor Rights Now urged the Indonesia government to release six leaders of the Kahutindo PT Musim Mas union who have been imprisoned since September 2005.

    Musim Mas operates the world's largest palm oil refinery. Workers formed a union in October 2004 at the firm's operation in Pelalawan and attempted to negotiate modest conditions for the palm oil workers. Management reportedly refused to bargain with them over even the minimum standards guaranteed by national legislation.     Full article

South African Unionists Arrested at Swazi Border

    About 45 trade unionists, including the deputy-president of South Africa's largest labor federation, were arrested at the border with Swaziland where protesters called for greater democracy there.

    Labor Rights Now, in a letter to South African President Thabo Mbeki, deplored the arrests as well as the police brutality employed in breaking up the protests.     Full article

LRN Urges Cambodia To Drop Rong Chhun Charges

    Labor Rights Now called on the government of the Kingdom of Cambodia to drop all charges against Rong Chhun, president of the Cambodia Independent Teachers' Association.

    Rong Chhun was freed on bail January 20, 2006 after his arrest on October 15, 2005 in Banteay Meancheay Province at the Poi Pet checkpoint.     Full article

Bangladesh Jails Leaders of Tea Workers' Union

    Labor Rights Now strongly protested the jailing of top leaders of the largest union in Bangladesh. Police arrested Rajendra Prashad Boonerjee, president of the Bangladesh Cha Sramik Union (BCSU) on March 24, 2006.

    In a letter to Shamsher M. Chowdhury, the Bangladesh ambassador to the U.S., Labor Rights Now President Don Stillman urged his immediate release along with that of Narendra Boonerjee and Bupesh Sind, also officials of he BCSU.     Full article

Labor Rights Now Blasts Iran Labor Repression

    Labor Rights Now blasted the Iranian government for sentencing worker activists to long prison terms for exercising fundamental trade union rights.

    "American workers are outraged at the sentencing of Mahmoud Sehi to five years in prison and three years of exile in the city of Ghorvey," LRN President Don Stillman said in a letter to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, president of the Islamic Republic of Iran.     Full article

China Police Kill Two Women in Steel Protests

    Labor Rights Now expressed deep concern about reports riot police in China killed two women protestors during a crackdown over demonstrations involving layoffs without compensation at the Chongqing Steel Plant.

    Three worker leaders were arrested and another 24 activists were injuring, according to Radio Free Asia.     Full article

Labor Rights Now's poster urging the release of jailed worker activists in China won the silver medal in the American Design Awards competition. The poster has rallied support for freedom for Yao Fuxin.
Order your copy today.

Breaking Labor News

©2008 LaborRightsNow   All rights reserved.