Honduran President Manuel Zelaya, who was forced into exile following a military coup in the country on June 28, defied the coup regime's efforts to keep him out of the country by staging a return to Honduras on September 21. The coup regime is responding with a brutal crackdown on the Honduran democracy movement. In the face of this escalation of violence, Canada is one of the only countries that has failed to act effectively to isolate the coup regime. We need to speak out now and demand action from the Canadian government, before it's too late.
Apparel brands with production in Honduras, including adidas Group, Nike Inc. and Gap Inc., released a joint letter sent to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton "calling for the restoration of democracy in Honduras" following the June 28th military coup. The brands urged "an immediate resolution to the crisis" and asked that "civil liberties, including freedom of the press, freedom of speech, freedom of movement, freedom of assembly, and freedom of association be fully respected."
Since the June 28, 2009 coup which ousted the democratically-elected President of Honduras, Manuel Zelaya, MSN has been closely monitoring the ongoing developments. Below you will find postings which document the continuing repression as well as the broad-based civil society resistance and other efforts to condemn the rights violations. You will also find a listing of key documents and groups working on the ground and internationally towards the restoration of democracy and the end to repression.
The Central American Women’s Network (CAWN) is bringing attention to the plight of women after the June 28 military coup in Honduras. In a July 10 press release CAWN provides a detailed account of the violent impact of the military coup on women, stating “We are seriously concerned that the political participation of women and women’s organisations is being threatened and their protests have been suppressed. This is putting their lives at risk.”
Honduran troops block protesters
World governments have called for the restoration of democracy in Honduras following the military coup which ousted the democratically-elected President Manuel Zelaya on June 28th. The response from the Canadian government, however, has been tepid at best.
As a result Common Frontiers and other social justice organizations (including MSN), has published an open letter to Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper urging him to break relations with the military-backed government and call for the unconditional reinstatement of democratically-elected Zelaya.
Students protest Russell Athletic
Citing Russell Athletic's "failure to engage in good faith negotiations with the CGT union on issues like compensation for terminated employees, a meaningful first-hire policy and reasonable access for unions to company factories", the Fair Labor Association (FLA) has put its member company Russell Athletic on Special Review for 90 days. If Russell fails to complete a series of required steps in 90 days their FLA membership may be revoked.
The Ethical Trading Action Group is asking for your assistance to convince sportswear supplier Russell Athletic to get serious about remediating well-documented violations of workers’ rights at its recently closed Jerzees de Honduras (JDH) factory in Choloma, Honduras.
Please write to retailers in your city asking them to review the labour rights abuses reported at the JDH factory when considering whether to continue stocking Russell Athletic products on their store shelves.
Stories from pioneer union organizers in the maquilas and banana plantations of Guatemala and Honduras who have inspired campaigns against sweatshops across North America. Provides first person accounts of life in the maquilas.
Canadian t-shirt manufacturer Gildan Activewear is closing two factories in Mexico, two Montreal textile plants and a cutting operation in New York. An estimated 1,365 Mexican and 465 Canadian and U.S. workers will be laid off. Workers at the Mexican factories were particularly hard hit, as the region is already reeling from Hanesbrands' laying-off of 1,700 workers in December 2006. With MSN’s assistance, our local Mexican partner organization in Monclova, SEDEPAC, put forward a series of proposals to Gildan.
In December 2003, MSN, the Canadian Labour Congress and the Independent Federation of Honduran Workers (EMIH) filed a formal complaint with the Fair Labor Association (FLA) concerning the unjust firings of workers at a Gildan factory in Honduras. The next month, the same parties filed a complaint with the Worker Rights Consortium (WRC).
When Gildan subsequently announced it was closing the Honduran factory in the midst of the complaints process, grassroots campaigns targeting Gildan Activewear in Canada and the United States succeeded in pressuring Gildan to agree to a corrective action plan.
Campaigning against Gildan proceeded until 2006, when MSN, the WRC and EMIH released a joint final report showing that while Gildan hadn't fully complied with the agreement, it did make serious efforts to do so in later months of the process. MSN has since suspended its Gildan campaign.