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With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility

Grassroots Corporate Campaigns for Workers’ Human Rights

By Katherine L. Caldwell

Although human rights obligations generally apply to governments, low-wage workers in the most exploited employment sectors are holding corporate actors as well to human rights standards. Workers’ advocacy tools range from the media to corporations’ own professed commitment to “social responsibility.” The Coalition of Immokalee Workers in Florida reached agreement with large corporate purchasers of tomatoes to require growers’ adherence to a code of conduct toward workers; United Workers in Baltimore won a living wage at Camden Yards baseball stadium and continues human rights-based organizing among workers at Baltimore’s Inner Harbor.

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