Sunday 22 September 2013

Solidarity with Victor Crespo

While we play silly buggers with union links and Westminster watching, it is worth remembering that many of our comrades elsewhere risk their lives to defend working people. This from LabourStart's Eric Lee via Howie's Corner. I urge readers to take a moment to send a message of support.

Last Friday, armed men attempted to force their way into the home of Victor Crespo (pictured), the general secretary of a trade union in Honduras. They threatened Crespo's life -- and only fled the scene once neighbors were alerted.

The International Transport Workers Federation believes that the attack is related to Victor's leadership of port workers who have been demanding the right to bargain collectively with their new employers in Puerto Cortes.

Fearing for Victor's life, the ITF has taken steps to guarantee his safety, and he's been moved to a safe location.

They have launched a global campaign to demand that the Honduran president intervene and get proper protection for him.

Please take a moment to send a message supporting this demand - click here.

In yesterday's mass mailing, we asked you to support the latest two IUF campaigns on Colombia and Honduras. For about two hours yesterday, the IUF website was offline and many of you were unable to gain access. It's back online and you have another chance to support these campaigns:

* Colombia
* Honduras

The latter campaign has gotten the attention of the Rainforest Alliance, which has responded to thousands of you with their side of the story.

And the IUF has responded to their statement quite forcefully here.

It includes this powerful passage: "The IUF believes that strong, independent unions are the best 'monitors' of working conditions. External audits can only provide a snapshot at best of working conditions; a union would be there every day representing workers, bargaining for improvements in pay and conditions and making sure labour legislation and international standards are applied."

The struggle continues.

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