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5370: Fwd: Campaign for Labor Rights alert--Kohl's found to be top producer at Chentex (fwd)

From: Nancy Mikelsons <Nancy.Mikelsons@pobox.com>
>to be exploited in Haiti. Guacimal S.A. is a multinational corporation, the
>producer of the very fine liquor
>Cointreau. Batay Ouvriye, our Haitian partner in the struggle for labor
>rights, has informed us that laborers are being denied the right to a decent
>wage, humane working conditions and the right to organize into a union.
>Batay Ouvriye is asking us to raise our voices so Cointreau will stop their
>systematic campaign of exploiting and dehumanizing Haiti's labor force. The
>workers at the Cointreau plants are working under a rigid minimum salary of
>36 gourdes per day, about US$1.13. They're getting at best, no more than
>2.75 gourdes (US$0.11) for each case of peeled bitter oranges they produce.
>The peeling process has great health effects on workers -causing them
>serious lung problems and destroying their nails. Working conditions are
>horrific and can only be compared to those of colonial times according to
>Batay Ouvrive.
>In response to these exploitative practices at Cointreau's St. Raphaël and
>Madeleine plants in Haiti, the employees formed a union. Their demands are
>cleaner bathrooms, no more harassment by Management, and a wage increase for
>each case of peeled orange that they produce.
>Managers of Cointreau's plants in Haiti, Nonce and Daniel Zéphir have
>launched an extensive union busting campaign.  The management claims that
>the workers have no right to organize the union.  They are also hassling the
>union leadership by cutting bonus pay and time off.  The workers are calling
>for international support of their union campaign.  Please cut and paste the
>following letter and send it to:
> Cointreau
>One World Trade Center
>107th Floor
>New York, NY 10048
>Phone: 212-524-7000
>Or Fax: 212-524-7016
>Or Email: joelle.jezequel@remy-cointreau.com
>Dear Sir or Madam:
>I was shocked to learn of your unfair and degrading labor practices in
>Haiti. The Cointreau plants in St. Raphaël and Madeline in the Northern part
>of Haiti are committing unacceptable violations of basic labor and human
>rights. I urge you to take action to correct the wrongs at your plants.
>Batay Ouvriye, a Haitian labor rights organization has just informed me of
>some of the inhumane working conditions at your plants. Not only do the
>workers there not make a living wage, but they are also working under
>conditions that are far below acceptable standards. They do not have access
>to decent bathrooms. They are obliged to peel bitter oranges with their bare
>hands, which causes serious lung problems and much damage to their hands,
>including the loss of nails.
>The workers are also suffering retaliation for forming a union.  These
>practices must end. It is not enough that Cointreau provides jobs in Haiti.
>It is also necessary for you to apply decent working standards
>at all your plants. No one should be forced to work under such miserable
>conditions, threatened for claiming their rights, or paid such ridiculously
>low wages. I urge you to communicate with your management team in Haiti and
>use your influence to get them to negotiate in good faith with the union the
>workers have chosen to represent them.

Nancy Mikelsons          Nancy.Mikelsons@POBOX.COM