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From: Joe Toth, INTERNET:NOjtoth@fairfield.comSPAM
To: Patricia Dines, 73652,1202
Date: Tue, Apr 29, 1997, 5:01 PM
Subject: Unions Call Ban on Gene-Altered Foods
WASHINGTON, April 24 /PRNewswire/ -- Meeting at its World Congress in
on April 15-18, the International Union of Food and Allied Workers'
Associations (IUF) threw the weight of its 320 affiliated unions in 112
countries behind AFL-CIO affiliates' key organizing campaigns. And in a
of the increased importance international solidarity plays in labor fights
North America, the 356 delegates from around the world elected Bakery,
Confectionery and Tobacco Workers (BC&T) International President Frank Hurt
to head the international body.
"Capital and its power have gone global," said Hurt. "IUF is excited about
intensifying our work with AFL-CIO unions to build the framework to balance
transnational corporate power wherever it operates."
IUF delegates committed their unions to fully support current and planned
organizing and first contract drives. IUF unions will step up their
for the workers at the New Otani Hotel in Los Angeles represented by the
Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees Union (HERE). The IUF and the IUF
Japan Coordinating Council will facilitate Sweeney's upcoming trip to Japan
to meet with union and government officials about New Otani management's
anti-union practices and contempt for worker rights.
In addition to the New Otani fight, delegates discussed ways to support
ongoing North American campaigns, including the United Farm Workers of
America's (UFW) effort to organize thousands of strawberry and mushroom
workers, and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters' (IBT) campaign to
win justice for Diamond Walnut workers.
"These campaigns are about nothing less than how America -- a continent of
immigrants -- deals with hard working men and women who come to build a
better life for their families," said IUF North America Director Kurt
Intense discussion surrounded the anti-worker behavior of soft drink,
and fast food giant PepsiCo. The company has practiced anti-union
in Europe and North America, as well as pursued questionable investment
polices in repressive countries like Burma. Just this month, a jury in
Washington state ruled the company systematically violated the labor rights
of 13,000 workers at its Pizza Hut subsidiary there. Workers have filed a
similar suit in South Carolina.
In another indication of the increasing ties between labor and its natural
allies in the human rights, food safety, and environmental movements,
delegates passed an exceptionally strong resolution calling for a ban on
introduction of genetically altered food products until their safety can be
proven. European environmental and food safety groups are concerned about
the possible health risks connected to these agricultural products
to be grown with powerful chemical pesticides.
"Unions fight corporate-produced safety problems wherever they exist -- in
the factory, in the field, or in the kitchen," added Stand. "Transnational
corporations like Monsanto should know workers won't let them experiment
our health so they can fatten their bottom lines."
The IUF is one of 15 international trade secretariats (ITSs) that
and strengthen global labor solidarity. IUF North America has 15
in the United States and Canada representing workers in the food, hotel,
restaurant and related industries. IUF North America coordinates
company-wide councils in leading transnational corporations such as
Unilever and Nestle; conducts research and analysis for affiliates and
organizations; and works closely with the AFL-CIO, affiliates and other
on organizing and related campaigns.
SOURCE International Union of Food and Allied Workers' Associations
CO: International Union of Food and Allied Workers' Associations
ST: District of Columbia
04/24/97 14:51 EDT http://www.prnewswire.com