TNR Brief: United Farm Workers, Migrant Workers in Qatar, Gay Rights in Chechnya

Grindelwald, Switzerland (photo: The Nation Report)

Grindelwald, Switzerland (photo: The Nation Report)

The United Farm Workers (UFW) will soon hear a decision by the California Supreme Court regarding alleged contract violations by agribusiness giant Gerawan Farming.  Gerawan is one of the country’s largest tree fruit producers and is being accused of refusing to honor a 2013 contract for pay increases and other benefits.  UFW says that the average money owed to a Gereawan worker is about $3000.

In 2013 the State of California’s Agricultural Labor Relations Board approved a union contract that sealed the benefits for farm workers but the UFW says that Gerawan is avoiding paying the workers what in total comes to millions of dollars.

Gerawan says that a 2002 Mandatory Mediation law to force agricultural employers to negotiate contracts with workers and their unions is illegal.

Oral arguments for hearing the farm worker complaints will be begin next week.

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Five years ahead of the 2022 World Cup, the Freedom United Team is calling on the nation of Qatar to make changes to the migrant worker visa (or kefala) process.  On March 21, the UN International Labor Organization (ILO) that oversees global labor practices granted the nation until November of 2017 to report about reforms to what has been reported as an oppressive system for attracting and retaining migrant workers in the country.

Preliminary changes have removed restrictions on workers changing employers, but because workers still require permission from their employers to change jobs or leave the country, Freedom United is running a petition to repeal the exit visa requirement on migrant workers.

Petition to ask for the repeal of exit permits for migrant workers.

“We are calling on Qatar to respect migrant workers in time for the next ILO review.”

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The organization Avaaz is circulating a petition worldwide to demand the closing of gay camps in Chechnya where the group has reported receiving testimonies of torture from those who have escaped the camps.

Deaths have been reported of those who have been electrocuted in an attempt by authorities to extract names of other people who are gay.

Targeting gay people and dragging them into camps is like something the Nazis would do. It’s both terribly upsetting and infuriating, but there’s a plan to stop it.   Avaaz will amplify the call of brave local activists in the media and use our massive global outcry to force an end to the crackdown.”

Avaaz reports that when asked about the torture camps, Russian President Vladimir Putin denied the existence of gay people at all.  Saying: “If such people existed in Chechnya, law enforcement would not have to worry about them, as their own relatives would have sent them to where they could never return.”

The International Crisis Group has confirmed reports from people who have escaped from the camps, and say it is releasing the information for the purpose of informing and getting global attention.

More information:

Gay Men Are Being Rounded Up And Killed In Chechnya: Report (Huffington Post)
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/chechen-gays-arrested-killed-reports-say_us_58e12a65e4b0b3918c843db6

Gay men go missing in Chechnya, reports say (CNN)
http://www.cnn.com/2017/04/04/europe/chechnya-gay-men-reported-missing/

Chechnya opens world’s first concentration camp for homosexuals (Daily Mail)
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4397118/Chechnya-opens-concentration-camp-homosexuals.html

 

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