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California tells Apple, Others not to use Slaves

This isn’t a repeat from the 19th century

| by Nick Farrell in Rome | Filed in Business Apple California

California has introduced a law requiring Apple and thousands of others to make sure that slave labour isn’t part of the supply chain.

According to Reuters,  the law was written following allegations that Apple and Gap used forced labour to create their products.

The law will force manufacturers to explain how they guard against slavery and human trafficking throughout their supply chain. More than 3,200 major companies which do business in California  will be required to disclose steps they take, if any, to ensure their suppliers and partners do not use forced labour.

Companies will risk getting sued by the state attorney general if they flout that law.

Apple declined to comment on the new legislation but the law comes after controversy about working conditions at huge supplier Foxconn, where there were a string of suicides.

However, it’s not clear how this law could cause Apple much trouble as the last we heard, none of the workers at Foxconn were actually forced to work there.

Apparently the law defines child labour and slavery as forced labour. Apple had some problems with some of its suppliers using child labour, but said that it sorted that out. Read more

New Law Aims To Shine Light On Conflict Metals

By: Michele Kelemen

December 20, 2011

Delly Mawazo Sesete wants American consumers to know what is in their smart phones, computers and other electronics and where U.S. companies like Apple are getting those rare metals.

Sesete says that, without knowing, consumers in the U.S. could be fueling conflicts in Eastern Congo. The human rights activist is from a remote part of the Democratic Republic of Congo, where armed groups are wreaking havoc and get much of their funding from mining rare metals.

“All the money that armed groups get from that exploitation is used to buy weapons and other ammunition so that they may cause injury to people … men slaughtered, pillage, rape of women and young girls,” he says.

Some of Sesete’s own family members have been forced from their homes in mineral rich areas of eastern Congo. The country’s riches, he says, have been a curse. Read more

New Child Labor Laws Expand Work Hours

[Waunakee Tribune]

Tyler Lamb
Regional Reporter

By Tyler Lamb

Regional Reporter

A provision inserted within Gov. Scott Walker’s biennium budget revised Wisconsin’s child labor laws July 1, effectively expanding the hours 16- and 17-year-olds can work.

The state’s child labor laws now mirror federal regulations, but is it a wise idea? Critics contend the change weakens labor laws and makes sure employers don’t have to pay a living wage.

Proponents challenge the measure will provide employers with the flexibility they need to stamp out the confusion between state and federal regulations.

Last month, a provision was placed into the governor’s budget bill by Joint Finance Committee co-chairs Sen. Alberta Darling (R-River Hills) and Rep. Robin Vos (R-Rochester) without a public hearing. The measure was later approved along party lines by the Republican-controlled Legislature.

Under the old rules, minors could not work more than 32 hours on partial school weeks; 26 hours during a full school week and no more than 50 hours during weeks with no classes.

The new law no longer limits either the daily or weekly hours, or the time of day minors may work. The measure also repealed a state law which prevented 16- and 17-year-olds from working more than six days a week. Teens of all ages are still banned from working during school hours. Read more

107 Groups Endorse the Children’s Act for Responsible Employment (CARE), which would extend child labor protections to many children working in U.S. agriculture.

The Children’s Act for

Responsible Employment

[CARE has been reintroduced as H.R. 2234 in the current session of Congress]

The CARE Act  has been endorsed by the following 107 organizations:

  • Action for Children North Carolina;
  • AFL-CIO;
  • Alliance for Justice;
  • American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee;
  • American Association of University Women;
  • American Federation of Teachers;
  • American Rights at Work;
  • America’s Promise Alliance;
  • Amnesty International USA;
  • Asian American Justice Center;
  • Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance;
  • Association of Farmworker Opportunity Programs;
  • Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers, and Grain Millers  International Union;
  • Bon Appétit Management Company;
  • California Human Development;
  • California Institute for Rural Studies;
  • California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation;
  • Calvert Group Ltd.;
  • Center for Community Change;
  • Change to Win;
  • Child Labor Coalition;
  • Coalition of Immokalee Workers;
  • Coalition of Labor Union Women;
  • Children’s Alliance, Washington State;
  • Communications Workers of America;
  • Covenant with North Carolina’s Children;
  • Dialogue on Diversity;
  • East Coast Migrant Head Start Project;
  • El Centro Latino of Western North Carolina;
  • Farmworker Advocacy Network [North Carolina];
  • Farm Labor Organizing Committee;
  • Farmworker Association of Florida;
  • Farmworker Justice;
  • First Focus Campaign for Children;
  • Food Chain Workers Alliance;
  • Galen Films;
  • Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network;
  • General Federation of Women’s Clubs;
  • Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities;
  • Hispanic Federation;
  • Honest Tea;
  • Human Rights Watch;
  • Interfaith Worker Justice;
  • International Association of Machinist and Aerospace Workers;
  • International Brotherhood of the Teamsters;
  • International Initiative to End Child Labor;
  • International Labor Rights Forum;
  • Kentucky Youth Advocates;
  • Labor Council for Latin American Advancement;
  • Laborers’ International Union of North America;
  • La Fe Policy Research & Education Center of San Antonio;
  • Laredo, Texas (City Council)
  • Latino Advocacy Council of Western North Carolina;
  • Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
  • League of United Latin American Citizens;
  • Legal Momentum (formally the Women’s Legal Defense and Education Fund);
  • MAFO (The National Partnership of Rural and Farmworker Organizations);
  • Maine Children’s Alliance;
  • MALDEF—Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund;
  • MANA, A National Latina Organization;
  • Media Voices for Children;
  • Migrant Clinician’s Network;
  • Migrant Legal Action Program;
  • MomsRising;
  • NAACP;
  • National Consumers League;
  • National Education Association;
  • National Employment Law Project;
  • National Farmworker Alliance;
  • National Farm Worker Ministry;
  • National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth;
  • National Association of Consumer Advocates;
  • National Association of State Directors of Migrant Education;
  • National Collaboration for Youth;
  • National Foster Care Coalition;
  • National Hispanic Medical Association;
  • National Migrant and Seasonal Head Start Association;
  • National Organization for Women;
  • National Parent Teacher Association (PTA);
  • NCLR (National Council of La Raza);
  • North Carolina Council of Churches;
  • North Carolina Justice Center;
  • Oregon Human Development Corporation;
  • Oxfam America;
  • PathStone;
  • PCUN—Pineros y Campesinos  del Noroeste (Northwest Treeplanters and Farmworkers)
  • Pesticide Action Network North America;
  • Pesticide Education Center;
  • Pesticide Watch;
  • Pride at Work;
  • Public Education Network;
  • Ramsay Merriam Fund;
  • Results;
  • Robert F.
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